Degree: Fine Art
University: University of Leeds
Graduation Year: 2019
Bella Marr’s abstract paintings traverse the subconscious via texture and tone. This unconventional young artist creates a selection of unique and embryonic pieces, all of which have a superb narrative underpinning fertility and femininity.
Marr’s relationship with her creative practice is one she describes as being of great 'intimacy’. Perhaps this points to her creative process; during which time, she encourages her subconscious to take the lead - and guide her on a completely unplanned journey. Resulting in unexpected, organic and original work.
Comparisons could be made to Rorschach’s Inkblots. Rorschach was also fascinated by the concept of letting the subconscious take the lead, saying that his inkblots were ‘incursions of the spirit world,’ - shapes that came naturally rather than by force.
Primarily a painter, my work looks at the physicality of paint, the intimacy between painter and canvas and the concept of breaking painting traditions. My work explores the accessibility to the abstract, through large scale paintings. Largely drawn to abstract expressionist painting techniques, I use methods such as automatism and chance painting to extract subconscious forms. Closeness and intimacy are established, a connection between myself and the canvas, the subject matter establishing entirely from my subconscious. Through implementing these painting techniques, where conscious control is relinquished, it allows the subliminal mind to take over and abstract shapes to form. This enables formlessness to establish itself throughout the narrative, dominating the prime content. An intimate and close experience is represented within works. Traces of femininity and fertility litter paintings, with large internal bodily shapes represented. Each work, essentially presenting itself as an extension of myself.
Alongside this, my work focuses on the physicality and manipulation of paint. I pour, splatter, push and layer paint, creating translucency and opaqueness beside each other. Contrasts of stained paint beside thick impasto creates depth and intensity between pieces. I identify as an unconventional painter, rarely using brushes, instead I choose to water paint down, splashing and pouring it over the canvas, exercising my physical body to manipulate the paint. Using my hands, blocks of wood or ends of brushes to scratch and mark into the paint and create an uneven accumulation of paint. Developing my painting technique from thin layers to introducing impasto paint into my practice, using glue, resin and ink to heighten the effect of chance, leaving materials to dominate control and explore the mailability of materials. A performative nature to my work takes over as my works progress. Gestural marks capture my movement, exploring this performative aspect to my practice. Looking closely at individual pieces, gestural marks suggest the use of hands, with finger marks seen exploring the physicality of each mark. This influence of a sculptural form is also evident in the forms of paintings. Both sculptural and painting-based works have sculptural elements to each. The painterly language throughout my practice is largely sculptural in a sense, each form painted takes on a three-dimensional shape covering the canvas, manifesting itself as formlessness, rendered from my mind.
2019, Cut the Mustard, University of Leeds, Leeds
2019, FUAM Graduate of the Year 2019