Artists Stay Home – Arabella Harcourt-Cooze

Artists At Home has been a feature of life in Chiswick for decades now. The annual Open Studios by artists in Chiswick, Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush over a long weekend in June is something many of us look forward to.

This year the artists will be ‘Staying Home’ as opposed to ‘At Home’, meaning they will not be welcoming visitors over the threshold, but they will be selling their work online instead. The Chiswick Calendar will be featuring some of the work of the artists taking part this year over the next few weeks.

Today’s featured artist is Arabella Harcourt-Cooze.

As a west London artist, Arabella is most interested in charting where she lives, seeing the topography and the continuance of the landscape shrouded by the city. Usually she paints the Thames, the seasons, the flowing tide. This is what she sees every day, her journey along the river, and she wants to capture and record this.

In recent weeks, having been quite ill with Covid-19, she has contented herself with painting vegetables at home.

Arabella writes:

‘I imagine that, like many artists, I thought lockdown wouldn’t feel very different from the rather solitary working life that we inevitably lead. Although in fact there are more people in the house, and throughout the day, than normal, husband, child no. three, a rather nice change, puncturing the painting day with queuing, cooking and eating.

‘Recovering from quite a nasty, although untested, bout of Covid, I rediscovered my work and found it a balm. Even if it had been allowed, I couldn’t have thought of going out, my usual river haunts were utterly beyond my energy levels. So it was my joy, I felt grateful and lucky to be able to sit at my kitchen table and sketch and paint whatever vegetables happened to be passing through our home, without thinking of anything other than their shapes and shadow and colour.

‘I had a strong feeling that I really wanted to concentrate on some small and solid thing. Stare at it. Lose my self in it. The simplicity. And that concentration for those hours would hold at bay all the worries about this extraordinary, incomprehensible time. Oddly, I have often noticed, that for me, that the wilder the times, the calmer and quieter my paintings become. I can now return to the river, reconnect with the landscape but still with the feeling that only with these first few small works, I want to shut out the noise, concentrate and consider and offer this moment, that day’.

Contact Arabella at:
Email: aharcourtcooze@gmail.com
Website: arabellaharcourtcooze.co.uk

Read More Stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Artists Stay Home – Jill Meager

See also: Bedford Park Festival goes online