It is a great privilege to be showcasing Trevor Bell's latest works created between 2007 and 2009.
HASTE SLOWLY is a striking and unusual exhibition for Bell, indicating a new level of freedom in his paintings.
Although a spontaneous dialogue between works has been created, each work stands alone. Communication between works becomes challenging, sometimes a whisper, sometimes a scream, like a group of people brought together, tentatively forming common ground. Ultimately, however, there is a sense of isolation. Each work is its own individual experience.
Bell is a romantic. An unusual admission when people so often talk of the formality of abstract painting, but I am struck by the emotive element so strong in his work; it is nature, both raw and in its spirit; it is the duality of life, in its calm and in its conflict. It is exciting. It reminds us we are alive and is suggestive of that which is out of reach and as such is humbling. The works suggest a journey that we all face and through experiencing these paintings we celebrate that journey. Each creates its own sublime vista.
2009 has been a busy year so far for Bell, having just seen the launch of a major retrospective book written by Chris Stevens of Tate Britain and Elizabeth Knowles esteemed former Director of Newlyn Art Gallery. A major public solo exhibition at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Art Gallery,
Leeds, and inclusion in the âGregory Fellows' Exhibition taking place at Leeds City Art Gallery (his home town), as well as an retrospective exhibition in London. All culminating recognition of Bell's status as a truly major figure in British Art. What is so striking in this exhibition is the sense of a
lifetimes work come together. Of all strands joining and becoming truly greater than the sum of their parts.
Compiled with the energetic âhaste' of a man in defiance of his years to create something monumental in its permanence. As Bell once said; âI make works which do not always give themselves immediately. Something for the spirit, not of words, and an antidote to the vigourous complexities that
surround us. It has required a gradual ungaining of learning to achieve a full emptiness'.
Joseph Clarke. 2009