Beatrice Hasell-McCosh’s paintings take us back to the permanence and the inevitability of nature around us; it reminds us that nature is nowhere to go, and that it is the ultimate reality and truth. Having started making paintings of flora during the pandemic when the sight of humans from everyday life was removed, Beatrice went back to the constant around us, nature.
She hardly leaves any empty space on her canvas, filling every corner with flowers or other kinds of flora. This tends to make a statement about intimacy and the closeness in nature. Her painting process involves soft and effortless brush strokes, and also at times she lets the paint flow. The flowing paint reminds one of the lingering and the transcendental effects nature has on humans.
Her flowers do not have a definite shape, and one can not discern the exact breed of it by looking at the painting once, however, she does create specific species in her paintings. The flowers are almost formless and ambiguous, which describes the vague yet attainable nature of hope and love.
One of her works Hawthrone, consists of landscape paintings, which seem distorted. The colours and figures blend into each other, again making it a little indiscernible yet creating a prolonged bond with the viewer.
McCosh mostly uses the hues of green blue and yellow, making the viewer come closer to their environment. At a time when people are detached from their environment and into a more rushed material life, her works bring back the significance of nature for human growth and emotions.
Flowers and flora are to an extent now an outdated subject of art, but Beatrice reclaims them and brings back the relationship between humans and nature.
During the pandemic her process was to paint in the garden at the same spot, watching the same flowers growing and changing shapes; new flowers curling up with the old ones, few dying and new emerging. This process in itself is telling of how humans turn towards nature during dark and difficult times.
McCosh will be showing monumental oil on canvas paintings and small works on paper at the Garden Museum this summer from June 28th 2022 till July 24 2022. Taking inspiration from the Cumbrian garden she grew up in, the paintings are based on flowers grown and seasonal changes observed during the 2020 lockdowns.
Beatrice says: “During 2020 I 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 me. Over a period of six months I 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.”