While H.R. Bell has travelled the world, it is not the landscape or architecture that interests her but capturing the essence of a place through its people and creating images that speak to a sense of common humanity.
Spending months in the countries she visits, H.R. Bell captures thousands of images, drawing on just a few to create her paintings. "They all mean something specific to me, partly something to do with the memory of the moment distilled, mostly the connection I felt with the person or people I was seeing. Sometimes it's empathetic; we're all human after all."
Never posed, the people she paints are seen going about their daily lives - work, play, conversation, contemplation - immersed in their worlds and observed with compassion and warmth. Indeed, H.R. Bell's subjects do not seem to simply be viewed with the eye, but felt with the heart. "The people, the rhythm of life on the streets, the memories and impressions all mingle and become the noise I bring back to my studio, playing in the background as I paint."
Rich in colour and life, the emotions and ideas conveyed through her work are as diverse as the places she travels. However, it is the universal experience of being human that resonates throughout and offers a powerful message of hope.
Lucy Beesley, October 2019