Beatrix Haxby | Patrick studios resident 2022

23 August 2022

Beatrix Haxby graduated from BA (Hons) Fine Art in 2021. In January 2022 she was awarded a six-month studio residency with East Street Arts, supported by Leeds Arts University.

Beatrix is an interdisciplinary artist whose Dalinian dreamscapes and physical stunts are suffused with imagination, desire, vulnerability and strength. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, her latest exhibition being a group show at D Contemporary in Mayfair.

After Beatrix's residency ended, she moved to Aire Place Studios to continue making work for her solo exhibition in September, where she sees herself as making her most ambitious work yet. She will be premiering a live performance co-choreographed with a European Breakdance Champion, a graffiti classical architecture installation, a painting set in a world of Pagan goddess worship, fountain seabeds and balustrades made out of chess pieces and punctuation marks - and more.

Image: Beatrix Haxby, WHAT I'M DOING WITH MY BODY, 2022. 

"My year kicked off with a six-month residency at Patrick Studios in a shared space with fellow graduate resident Cait McEniff, a professional illustrator. Patrick Studios, or Pats as it is affectionately called, is East Street Arts’ flagship building with the main office, 30 other artist residents and many different technical facilities.

I joined at a time where the pandemic had caused a lot of the artist residents to nest in their studio, reversing a previous trend of monthly artist meetups. However this was not to say that there was a lack of community. The open plan nature of the office - built into the communal kitchen - elevates the ‘my door is always open’ platitude to something of real, meaningful warmth. You can ask the staff for advice or feedback pretty much whenever and they will do their best to help you.

Image: Beatrix Haxby. 

Image: Beatrix Haxby. 

To the extent that the chatty community element did recede due to the pandemic, it meant that I was able to focus with sabbatical intensity. I often stayed at the studio until 4am, thanks to the 24 hour access. I think the reason I was able to stay motivated is due to the variation in my practice. The gross motor skills and high octane release from bar work - and then the finer motor skills of labouring over a painting detail to some Ravel and Prokofiev.

Much to my chagrin, my uni tutors often said that my process was more interesting than the finished work. I ended the residency with lots of work, none finished though, but I did make a video of an average studio day showcasing my process - so they can have the last laugh for now!

My goals for the residency were to produce enough work for a solo show at the end, make work at scale and increase my confidence and competence as an artist. The ambition that was most fulfilled by the residency was probably the latter, increasing my professional acumen which mostly came from simply having a studio. I wish I could chalk it up to something more public-spirited like a conversation with a member of staff, rather than an inanimate room with a desk and chair. That being said, East Street Arts’ slogan is ‘making space for artists’ for a reason. They get that artist spaces are the cornerstone of any arts scene, especially in a time of rising rent costs.

Something psychological happens when you are granted a space to make work in, where you take what you’re doing a lot more seriously and really pay attention to how the art world works. I put together an exhibition marketing campaign involving bold in-person outreach that could be described as Hirstian. While my hands were occupied with painting, my ears were also occupied listening to a YouTube playlist I made of curators on my radar, so I could listen out for and embed specific, personal touches to the invite to my exhibition.

Image: Beatrix Haxby, Architecture Sketches.

If I were to thank specific individuals, I can think of quite a few. Abigail my mentor on the ground at LAU Careers; Employability for her organisational and systematising skills, and her eclectic knowledge of marketing and entrepreneurship. Matt for his enviable DIY skills and generosity. Frank for his older-bro affability and wisdom. And for getting me that extra, free space in City Exchange! Holly for her curiosity in my practice, and making me feel so listened to during the artist interview we did. And Rosa for her always fun lunchtime banter.”

'WHAT I’M DOING WITH MY BODY' demonstrates a restlessly inventive character and rigorous process of self reflection. A not so immaculate conception, the love child of Dalí and Emin. The exhibition is an intimate conversation between a selection of paintings, drawings and sculpture transcribing the human needs of want and need, desire and love. Accompanying the paintings are a series of partner poems from collaborator and confidante, Mary Von Butchell.

Dalí and Emin thought experiments aside, Haxby is the real-life daughter of New Romantics luminary Phyllis Cohen, the master behind the Pink Floyd back catalogue. Haxby will be painted by her mother and execute a live bar dance to the music of Gnasha, a Leeds based dubstep producer. Join us for an artist who endeavours to travel inwards.

Beatrix’s exhibition opens at Patrick Studios, East Street Arts, LS7 9EH from the 21-27 October 2022, the live performance is during the private view on the 20 October 6-10pm.

Find out more about Leeds Arts University Funded Studio Spaces here