I paint and draw from observation, out in the open, in an effort to capture the essence of a particular land or seascape. I am interested in the way light shines on the sea with foaming waves and shiny, wet shingle; also, the texture and ’sparkle’ of fields of barley and grasses. These ideas have a particular affinity with the craft of batik, in the way molten wax painted or drawn across fabric and dyed repeatedly, can produce the textural effects I’m after.
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 Walsham le Willows Christmas Exhibition and regularly exhibits with them all.
2018 Solo exhibition at Aldeburgh Gallery
2017 Walsham le Willows Arts and Crafts Group
2017 Open Studio, Walsham Gardens Weekend
2017 Suffolk Craft Society, 46th Summer exhibition, Peter Pears Gallery, Aldeburgh
2016 The Batik Guild, 30th Anniversary exhibition, Rugby Art Gallery
February 2015 – November 2016: Helen was 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 servicemen from this village who lost their lives in World War 1. Fifteen 9 – 10 year olds designed batik poppies which were arranged with a landscape by Helen, including the names of those who died. The 4-metre wallhanging can be seen in Walsham le Willows Memorial Village Hall.
Contact Helen Dougall