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Polly Bates: Symbiotic

12th May – 3 rd Jun 2023

P.V: 11 March 6-10pm

Wed-Fri 11-5

Sat 12-5

Polly Bates 'Rock and Roll' .jpg


From 12 th May – 3 rd June, AIR Gallery will present Symbiotic, the first solo-exhibition of British contemporary sculptor Polly Bates.

Bates’ uncanny and environmentally anxious ceramic sculptures encourage viewers to reflect on our cultural, spiritual and biological relationships with lesser-considered elements in nature. Bates transforms research into the Anthropocene, Animism, Gaia Theory and Mycology into hybrids of nature. Fictitious organic beings which eerily echo the world we know. Symbiotic showcases a surreal glimpse into the artist’s exploration of living in a geological era shaped by humanity.

Bates has exhibited in group exhibitions across the UK and in Venice. Symbiotic is her most ambitious exhibition yet and will showcase a selection of unseen works from her current sculptural enquiry into human relationships to rocks.

Polly Bates says: “Since working with clay, I have begun to recognise the material’s vibrancy, energy and agency. I see sculpting as a collaboration between myself and the clay. I welcome a mutual discussion as the material reacts and begins to determine its own form. The unpredictability of clay progresses into the
firing process, where air pockets can cause ruptures. The sculpture begins to evolve and alter its appearance without my influence. I believe this to speak to the experience of non-human nature; Western’ society has self-proclaimed humans to be at the top of nature’s hierarchy, but we have ignited a destructive path which is now spiralling beyond our control.”

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