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Helen started to draw and paint as soon as she could hold a pencil. Encouraged by her artist father who taught her art history from books and provided her with every conceivable tool and material available at the time, she soon was showing great promise. At the time in her native New Zealand, attending art school wasn’t an option so she embarked on a publishing career.


Several decades of career and family-raising ensued. Then in 2015, Helen finally took the plunge and started painting again. In 2018 she built her garden studio overlooking ancient woodland in the beautiful rolling hills of West Sussex. Aided by multiple residential, online and university courses on acrylic painting, drawing, printing and abstraction, and learning from the greats through frequent visits to London galleries, she has been working experimentally with many different materials and developing her own style.

Her work has been accepted for several open exhibitions, including the inaugural Sussex Contemporary. Retirement in 2022 has meant that Helen can finally devote all her time to art, and in 2024 her studio opens for the first time. Helen’s work is predominantly in acrylics and frequently mixed media. All kinds of textures serve to disrupt the canvas or paper, using different gel media, sand or plaster of Paris, with rich colour and often metallics. Her work is rooted in nature, inspired by dramatic scenery as well as the gentle local landscape that she loves. Her paintings rely on imagination and can be very abstract but the original inspiration will always still be there.


Her formative influences include Paul Klee, August Macke, Paul Gauguin and Wassili Kandinsky for their inspirational use of colour, the Modernists Georgia O’Keefe, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore for their refinement of shapes and purity of vision, and Abstract Expressionists Peter Lanyon (abstracting the landscape) and Robert Rauschenberg (mixing materials). What these all have in common is an astoundingly fresh voice and a clean break with the rules of the past.

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist” – Pablo Picasso

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