Jim Naughten is a British artist who explores themes of ecology and the natural world through a combination of photography and painting. His upcoming exhibition at the Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery, Eremozoic II, brings together a new series of ‘digital paintings’ which examine the unstable relationship between humankind and the animal kingdom.
The term ‘Eremozoic’ was coined by the biologist E.O. Wilson in his 2006 book, The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth, to describe the "age of loneliness" that our planet is currently entering - one characterised by the mass extinction of animal species caused by human activity.
The exhibition features a series of large-scale images of animals and birds taken from photographs of dioramas (replicas of scenes, typically involving three-dimensional full-size animals encased in glass) which Naughten boldly recolours. The complex process of digital manipulation seeks to dislocate the animal from its immediate natural environment and draw attention to the impact of human activity on the natural world and our self-inficted biodiversity crisis.
Naughten’s reanimation of the image through colour additionally calls into question the role of the photograph as a means of providing a window onto an undisturbed natural habitat.
Eremozoic II marks Naughten's first solo exhibition at the Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery. 10% of the sales proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to the Jane Goodall Institute UK, a community conservation charity helping animals, people and the environment in the UK and Africa.