BETHANY HADFIELD

Bethany Hadfield (b. 1994) is an artist living and working in London. In 2016, she was awarded a BA (Hons) in Fine Art, Painting from Wimbledon College of Art, and more recently Hadfield graduated with an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art (2022). In- between, and during her periods at university, the artist exhibited extensively in group shows in London, as well as in Japan. Hadfield has been nominated for awards including the Jonathan Harvey Studio Award (London).

Things don’t emerge all at once, and in the case of Bethany Hadfield’s paintings, some things don’t emerge at all. Instead, they are in a process far prior to emergence, her subjects often take no form yet present themselves as an immaterial reality. Each, existing as a sum of parts, only through entangled ‘intra-relating.’ Inspired by American physicist Karen Barad, who coined the term ‘intra-action,’ Hadfield describes her paintings as open-ended questions or possibilities, “dabbled with intuition in a networked, collaborative approach with the machine.”

“The paintings are not depictions of things, or even worlds, I am trying to grasp something considered ‘immaterial’ and show it as what it truly is, reality.” Hadfield’s painterly process begins formalities – size and surface. Then, using an open-source 3D modelling software she creates a sketch over which she feels little autonomy (particularly because much of her knowledge of the programme came via mangled YouTube clips), and more like she is a “vessel for the awkward voids that I’ve helped
to create.” Once the artist arrives at a “void” that resonates, “it meets the canvas.”

Prior to grasping comfort with the iwata brush gifted to Hadfield by a friend, the artist painted with oils. Since oil is not an option for airbrushing, Hadfield is finding ways in which the two process can work together; as acrylic holds a tendency towards flatness, and oil gives the surface depth. When using acrylic, she challenges herself to avoid such monotony and regularity of surface. “Ultimately the paintings are metaphysical, they attempt to hold the traces of the screen.”

Chip Fat and Tarmac

January 2023

Four You Gallery are delighted to present CHIP FAT AND TARMAC, an exhibition of paintings by London based artist Bethany Hadfield (b. 1994). Claustrophobic and fluctuating, the paintings transcend material reality. They are sprayed acrylic multiplicities of networks; threads of the artists inspirations sprawl off the canvas. Drawn initially on a 3D modelling programme, the artworks come into being and pulse with the charge of Hadfield’s interests including vascular plants, anthropocentric pressure on species and intra-relations.

In 2016, Bethany Hadfield was awarded a BA (Hons) in Fine Art, Painting from Wimbledon College of Art, and more recently Hadfield graduated with an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art (2022). In – between, and during her periods at university, the artist exhibited extensively in group shows in London, as well as in Japan. Hadfield has been nominated for awards including the Jonathan Harvey Studio Award (London).