I paint and draw directly from observation, out in the open, in an effort to capture the complete essence of landscape. I am particularly interested in the effect of agriculture on the landscape, tractors ‘drawing’ across fields to produce perspective patterns and the effect of sunlight across stubble fields, and seascapes with wet, shiny undulating beaches or multicoloured shingle. These ideas have a particular affinity with the craft of batik, in the way molten wax can be painted or drawn across dyed fabric to produce textural effects.
Helen studied fine art in the early 60’s in London, first, at the Polytechnic in Regent Street where her tutors included Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff, and, later at Chelsea School of Art. After training as an art teacher at the Institute of Education, University of London, Helen went on to teach art and design in London secondary schools and then at Suffolk College in Ipswich until 1997. Helen is also a member of the Batik Guild and the Suffolk Craft Society and regularly exhibits with them.
2016 Batik Guild, 30th Anniversary Exhibition, Rugby Art Gallery
2015 Walsham Arts and Crafts, Walsham le Willows
2015 Artworks, Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham
2015 Suffolk Craft Society, 44th Summer Exhibition, Peter Pears Gallery, Aldeburgh
2015 Edmund Gallery, 2-person Exhibition, Batik and Ceramics, Bury St Edmunds
2014 Willow Gallery, The Batik Guild, Oswestry
2014 The Pennoyer Centre, Pulham St Mary, Norfolk
2014 The Naze Tower, Walton on the Naze
Forthcoming in 2016: Helen has been commissioned with the help of Lottery funding to work with Walsham le Willows primary school children to produce a large batik wallhanging as a memorial to those who lost their lives in World War 1. Fifteen 9 – 10 year olds designed batik poppies which have been arranged with a landscape by Helen. This includes the 36 names of servicemen from the village of Walsham le Willows who lost their lives. Unveiling the 4 metre wallhanging will take place in the Village Hall in November.
Contact Helen Dougall