Hailing from Awabakal land (Newcastle, NSW), Bel is a self-taught artist having begun her practice in 2015. She started to paint to soothe the mental strain of becoming physically unwell throughout her 20’s. For a time painting had been something to help an unwell woman heal, but soon became a great love and a way of life for her. With a commitment to her craft and a connection to the land, Bel is drawn to the natural ochres and pigments that are native to the Australian earth.
There is a layering of what she sees and remembers that is interspersed with what she paints.
Bel’s palette and subjects hum a meditative silence of the bush and landscape of this Sunburnt Country. Her sombre palette and repetition of her subject echo a melancholia in her rhetoric. With looming, skeletal trees in the foreground, a Rothko-like treatment of canvas pulls the viewer in, posing a question – will you take a moment to bask in the silence? Bel’s connection to place, childhood memories and surrealist dreamscapes are evident as her paintings speak to her philosophy of art as medicine.
“The truth is that I need this; we do. This slow-down-and-enjoy posture towards what is right in front of us… And still it is taken for granted more often than I dare to examine…
A reaction to hast and tiredness, I try not to forget this good-to-me thing. The reality that the land and still-life taken from it hold an abundance of joy for me to tap into. The easy pleasure that I take for granted…
I’m trying not to take this for granted as I sit back and take note, of the dust that is bold in its depth and the sky that blushes twice a day. The vase that was bought from a gifted maker, rests those flora I am fixated on… now… as I sit and take note.
Walking out into the bushland, the slurry by the bank didn’t seem so much of interest, but taken the time, its form and layering allow me to access an appreciation for it. I look for a long time and find browns, oranges, and dirtied down pinks I hadn’t seen at first glance. I realise it’s brilliance.
Placing paint to brush to canvas, I’m remembering and delighting in the reality of every hour spent and its necessity for me.
Joy is found right here, in its most organic form, in the most “mundane” of things because nothing is truely mundane at all.
This is what’s important. Sitting with it and enjoying every moment. It is Vital.” – Giorgia Bell