Bea Last focuses on movement, energy and memory, through the medium of paint onto canvas, paper, and sketchbooks. At present she is working on the movement of energy that flows through and around both the visual and spoken word. In taking the written word and abstracting it we are left with shape, tone, form, pattern, flow and energy. Like music, with sharps and flats, light and dark tones, and varying cadences, we can view the visual word without the distraction of its meaning and focus on the beauty of what flows between, around and within, especially that of its energy. She approaches painting like music or the spoken word, with all its texture, tones, movement or stillness.
Bea Last’s paintings are large scale and their very physicality is an important part of her practice. She works on more than one piece at any one time, with the process of addition and subtraction. They are not just to be looked at but experienced. To be conversed with, related to or challenged by. At times they have been considered confrontational. They are an experience.
Sketchbooks are a vital part of Bea’s creative process allowing freedom of mark making without self-consciousness. The fluid energy created through these drawings are crucial to the practice and help her stay connected to the paintings that she working on, helping to move them forward in their development. Through the rapidity and repetitiveness of the mark making, the element of movement through time occurs. By focusing on the abstract and eliminating the figurative or narrative she is trying to capture the beauty in not necessarily the unseen but that which perhaps sometimes we are too busy to see.
With the working process within sketchbooks, comes the realisation that drawings do not have to be contained and that they can, like the paintings, have a very physical and emotional presence.