Perhaps an image – a door or whatever – may invite thoughts of escape, but the sheer physicality of the means prevents there being an escape from the language of painting. I deliberately construct this contradiction. Basil Beattie


This month’s Public View and Photo Stroll focuses on painter Basil Beattie’s Promises, Promises exhibition which ran from 12 October 2013 until 8 January 2014 at The Jerwood Gallery in Hastings. However, if you missed it at Jerwood Gallery, you can see some of Basil Beattie’s work in the show, Above and Below: Step Paintings 1990-2013, at Hales Gallery, London from 17 January-22 February.



Beattie, who was born in 1935 and is now in his late seventies, is regarded as “one of Britain’s most respected abstract painters”. The show featured large-scale oil paintings, some of which were made as recently as 2013, and two sets of drawings, including the monochromatic, Untitled, Chinese ink on paper (2000-2009).



Beattie’s work utilizes symbols and motifs such as tunnels, corridors and ladders with steps and stacks recurring as elements in the frame. Promises, Promises was curated in collaboration with writer, curator and critic Mel Gooding.



Frame and Reference asked The Jerwood to provide some of the comments left by visitors on cards (see below) as there was no Comments Book to photograph.



It seems that the show, broadly speaking, had a positive impact on many of the children and young people who saw the work. Helenswood A Level Dance students visited the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings to create a site-specific dance and film project. Click here.



The students said: “ We had an amazing day at the Jerwood Gallery, immersing ourselves in art, dance and film. We learnt how to work alongside the large colourful canvases of Basil Beattie and at the same time incorporated the physical elements of the building which all contributed to our understanding of choreography.”


All iPhone photos © Miranda Gavin