Becca Chesworth

Amid the ongoing climate crisis, my art practice celebrates and promotes the intricate interconnectedness of life through the mediums of monoprinting, collaging and oil painting, encouraging a hopeful outlook rather than one of cynicism as is so common in conversations surrounding climate change. My practice refers to Donna Haraway’s theoretical book ‘Staying with the Trouble’ in which she asserts the importance of making kin with life beyond our own species and recognising how our self-centred, Western thinking harmfully impacts other life. In responding to this idea of kin, I work with imagery of myself and my brother, a well-acknowledged example of kin. I also work with imagery of birds to speak of the connection we have with them and claim them to be kin likewise. 

My process begins with monoprinting onto eco-friendly newsprint and discarded paper, transforming photographs into unique textured and layered depictions of these images. I then take these monoprints and collage them together to create complex compositions that intertwine both human portraits and birds and experiment with different colours, surfaces and mark-making. Lastly, I turn these collages into larger oil paintings onto surfaces of found wood that would otherwise be thrown away, such as an old wardrobe door. The versatility and depth of oil painting bring control back into my work, enabling either a direct translation or a loose interpretation of marks, textures and tones, as well as allowing for a larger scale which better emphasises the complexities within the original collages. I am aware of the obstacle of using oil paint when aspiring to have an eco-friendly practice so to counter its potentially harmful environmental impact, I have used recycled surfaces and previously owned paints, as well as unwanted building materials such as making pigment from concrete powder and adding grain with kiln sand.