Ash left behind after death, a lover’s lick, or a print made directly from a spider’s web are some of the traces explored in Surface Tension, a solo show by Bea Haines.

In this new body of work, Haines explores the human condition through an examination of our relationships with each other, our environment and mortality. Through sculpture, painting, drawing and print, Haines captures traces that offer insight into human nature, referring to nurture, loss, longing and our desire for love through what is deemed culturally impermissible.

Haines’ work is concerned with surface and more specifically a process of imprinting, where the worldly or intangible collides with paper, glass or metal. Her exploration of surface prompts us to consider what lies beneath—and often psychologically; in her ongoing work with animal and human remains, Haines subverts the norms that surround mortality, re-presenting it as a process of creation and healing.

The exhibition features paintings and drawings created from human and animal ashes, which challenge death as taboo. Haines' work also comments on the fear of the natural world within society. Is this fear a result of our evolutionary state where, whilst our brains have increased in size, our bodies have become soft and weak? Surface Tension raises such questions.

Bea Haines (b. 1986, London, UK) is a multidisciplinary visual artist based in London. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2010 with an MA in Printmaking. Listed in Artlyst’s ‘top 10 artists under 30’, Haines was Print Fellow at the Royal Academy of Arts from 2012 to 2016. She has exhibited in solo and international group exhibitions including the Jerwood Drawing Prize, ‘Blood’ at Science Gallery, ‘the Negligent Eye’ at Bluecoat Gallery and at Ars Electronica festival. Haines has completed residencies at the University of Abertay’s forensics lab, Marlborough College, Centrespace Gallery and the Griffin Gallery where she collaborated with scientists from Winsor & Newton. Winner of Anthology Art Prize, RBS Bursary award and the Mann and Daler Rowney drawing prizes, she was nominated for the best newcomer prize at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.