My paintings are abstract to me, but I feel I can put almost anything in. I put in things that have references to psychological and emotional concerns that are important to me, but I’m trying to paint them in a way that is not illustrative… I withdraw from describing it to myself in a precise way because I want it to remain ambiguous. Perhaps an image – a door or whatever – may invite thoughts of escape; but the sheer physicality of the means (of painting) prevents there being an escape from the language of painting. I deliberately construct these contradictions.
Basil Beattie, From a conversation with John McEwen, New Paintings, Todd Gallery, 1998, as shared on https://abcrit.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/33-nick-moore-writes-on-basil-beattie-at-mima/