Beatrice Hasell-McCosh‘s work uses natural form and the tradition of landscape painting as the lens to explore emotional themes, identity linked to place and human connection. Drawing is vital to her practise and she uses closely observed studies made from life to make large-scale paintings. Beatrice works as much from memory as from the studies and, in playing with scale, the focus of importance gives way (from direct figurative representation) to a flattened abstraction with aesthetic choices relating to composition, texture and gestural use of colour taking on the primary importance. With a degree in English and Classics reading widely around a subject is central to her practise. The titles of each large work cite the disparate elements of this research from literature to pop culture, song lyrics and art historical links.
Beatrice’s recent work is a series of diptychs, triptychs and monumental paintings around the theme of separation and emotions associated with enforced isolation. Notably her paintings don’t include any figures or animals. She has continued with the concept of work presented in various parts (the subject of nature limited by an enforced human shape), a motif which began after a trip to Japan in 2018. Kintsugi and the idea of beauty in imperfection has been
significant in her thinking since then and it is seen in a number of her works where the different elements of the triptych or diptych are uneven. She is also interested in the permanence of work and the splitting up of works made together. Her influences are wide ranging, from music - recently Lizst and Laurie Anderson) - to Disney productions set design, comic book strips, 1950’s adverts, Chagall’s stained glass, the freezing of a moment in Robert Brownings poetry and the Hardwick Hall Tapestries in the V&A.
During the first lockdown in 2020 Beatrice drew comfort from the routine of making small watercolour sketches in the garden. As humans shrunk away from each other the reassuring continuity and cycle of nature became completely absorbing to the artist who, over a period of 6 months, watched and drew from the same spots continuously seeing plants grow up, crowd together (in antithesis to human society) blooming and dying and being replaced with the new. During such a period of uncertainty, painting in large scale also worked as a therapeutic physical act of choice and control rather than big things becoming overwhelming. Recently she has been working on large works on canvas to be installed as murals.