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Beatrice Hasell-McCosh: The Ghost of a Garden

An exhibition of works on paper raising money for Benton End

At this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, The Nurture Landscapes Garden designed by Sarah Price and brought to life by Crocus was inspired by the garden of artist plantsman Cedric Morris at Benton End. In homage to Cedric, we invited artist Beatrice Hasell-McCosh to paint in the show garden. The resulting paintings immortalise the unforgettable palette of plants, colours and textures which were so artfully designed by Sarah Price.

We are now delighted to offer Beatrice’s watercolours for sale, to raise money in support of our project to revive and restore Benton End as a place of art, gardening and learning. A portion of the proceeds will go directly towards fundraising for Benton End, a subsidiary of the Garden Museum (charity registration number 1088221).

Income is received and processed by the Museum, but will be used solely for the Benton End project.

“ Sarah Price described her 2023 Chelsea Garden as inspired by ‘the ghost of a garden’. This ghost was Benton End, the former home of Arthur Lett-Haines and Cedric Morris and the site of the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing. The art school was famous for turning out some of the 20th century’s best artists including Lucian Freud and Maggi Hambling who in turn have taught and inspired so many artists I admire including Jelly Green and Celia Paul.

It was a real pleasure for me to paint in the Nurture Landscapes Garden and connect with the artistic history of Sarah’s inspiration. You can tell that Sarah studied art before becoming a garden and landscape designer- her sense of colour and proportion so cleverly draws a viewer in. What I particularly connected with was the negative shapes that she created. The architectural nature of her garden meant that the space around each plant from the Aeoniums to the Irises became as intriguing as the planting itself. These ghost shapes formed of a warming palette of ‘Suffolk Pink’ and ochre hues which gave the garden another depth that I wanted to translate into the paintings I made.

Cedric Morris’s work has long been an inspiration. The flattened abstraction of his pieces makes them still wonderfully contemporary today and it’s not surprising that his work is regaining a popular following in a post lockdown moment where natural spaces are treasured to a much greater extent.”
       – Beatrice Hasell-McCosh

“Beatrice approaches her subject with similar empathy to Cedric Morris. In the ethereal medium of watercolour, she captures both the beauty and character of the plants before her in Sarah Price’s magical garden.”
        – Philip Mould, Art Dealer and Champion of Artist Plantsman Cedric Morris

About Beatrice Hasell-McCosh

Beatrice Hasell-McCosh uses natural form as the lens to explore emotional themes, identity linked to place and human connection. Drawing is vital to her practise. She uses closely observed studies made from life to make large-scale paintings back in her studio. Playing with size the focus of importance gives way from figurative representation to a flattened abstraction, with aesthetic choices relating to composition, texture and gestural use of colour taking on primary importance. Beatrice studied English and Classics at Leeds University then attended Leith School of Art, Edinburgh and The Royal Drawing School, London. She has exhibited with Blue Shop Cottage, AORA, Sotheby’s and the Soho Revue. Her first solo museum presentation curated by The Violet Hour was at the Garden Museum, London in June 2022.

Instagram: @beatricehasellmccosh