For many years Helen’s work has been about the beauty, dignity and character of animals. The poise and movement of animals, their behaviour and nature is an area she finds endlessly fascinating. Helen likes to think of them observing the world as she is observing them and then try to deduce what it is that they rely on to navigate their way through life. Whether it is the curiosity of a primate or the heightened senses of a hound, each and every creature has unique adaptations and behaviours, skills and strengths and these are what she try’s to convey in her work.
At the moment Helen is focussing on how animals are intertwined with our domestic and family life. She wants to capture moments such as a dog flopped on a chair after a long walk or watching the world whilst their owner stops for a coffee or a lazy old cat sunning itself, content in it’s old age. More intimate and everyday than dramatic subjects. She hopes to capture these small moments that surround us when we have animals in our life.
Helen still strives to pare her images down to a balanced simplicity that directs attention to the subject in her pictures. Light is hugely important to the way she draws and recently, as she has started including backgrounds in her work it has become more of a consideration. She aims is to recreate a minute that could be in any time but feels recognisable and familiar.
Helen’s influences include Japanese and Chinese prints and drawings and the 19th and 20th Century European artists who were influenced by them too. She loves the landscape paintings of Mondrian and Schiele and the work of Bonnard. She is interested in early photography and film both amateur and professional and has recently discovered and been amazed by the work of Yasujiro Ozu. The films and polaroids of Tarkovsky are influences too. Helen has long been interested in the work of 20th Century war artists such as Nash and Ravillious, the clarity of their work is hugely impressive. Lastly, she would mention two great influences in natural history illustration, Thomas Bewick and Charles Tunnicliffe. Both these men, in their work and curiosity about the natural world have been a lifelong inspiration.
1990 1992 Royal College of Art, London. M.A. ( R.C.A) Natural History Illustration.
1987 1990 Sunderland University. B.A. Hons. Fine Art Printmaking.
1986 1987 Newcastle College of Art and Design. Foundation studies in Art and Design
2017 Featured artist show at Glasgow Print Studio.
2016 Exhibition at Fotheringham Gallery.Bridge of Allan
2016 Group show at Fisherton Mill
2016 Group show ar Moy McKay Gallery, Peebles.
2016 Mixed show at Framed Gallery, Perth.