Helen Stevenson

Artist Biography:

Helen lives in Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands, UK.  She has a degree in Geography and later took a degree in Fine Art with the University of Nottingham.  The two degrees describe Helen’s interest in the world around her and how we interact within it as human beings.

Helen has a studio at Edge2Studios which was created as an extension when her previous studio space at Harrington Mill Studios closed in 2018.  She has participated in numerous exhibitions including collaborative exhibitions in South Korea and Athens, independent exhibitions and Open exhibitions .  She has also participated in collaborations such as The Outsiders, Viewpoint, Thrive, Harrington Mill Studios and The Carnival of Monsters.

Although Helen predominantly paints she is passionate about learning and trying new techniques and skills.  She has taken workshops in stained glass, printing, digital art and studied City and Guilds in Ceramics.

In 2013 she set up a group called Arts United to increase opportunities and information sharing which then led to her organising and delivering a local arts trail which included artists, craft makers, performance, shop keepers and community engagement.   Helen strives for easier access to information and opportunities in the arts and has set up a Facebook page called Arts, Events and Opportunities to share relevant posts across all arts mediums.

Helen’s studio space has become a valued working space and the artists in the studio are planning an exhibition space for further development.

Helen is passionate about all arts and crafts and enjoys visiting galleries and shows.  She believes that the current global climate calls for the greater need to value artisan skills and creative problem solving which is integral to the artistic mind.

Artist Statement:

Helen has a studio at Edge2 Studios in Long Eaton and lives and works in Beeston which she predominantly uses to paint but she is also passionate about learning new skills.

Her interest in urban structures and patterns in nature influence the content of her work but the finished outcome is a result of working spontaneously and letting the artwork evolve.  Helen is also passionate about equality and accessibility and often tries to find ways to convey these themes, such as class, disparate groups, mental health and sometimes just a general feeling of visual escapism through her work.

Helen spends many hours taking photographs and manipulating them into abstracted forms.  She has exhibited this as a form of art in it’s own right.  The abstraction of her photography encourages the viewer to see familiar places in a different perspective.

The physical appearance of Helen’s work is primarily vibrant and dynamic.  She particularly values that her art is accessible visually so that the viewer can take part in their own visual journey when they experience her work.  Her paintings are the result of an intuitive process which evolve  continually depending upon the previous decision or mark made.  Her work can go in and out of  clarity which is an important part of the process.  She continually thinks about the clarity of contrasting elements, colours and overall visual balance.  Spatial values are tested and redefined as a nod to the tenuous nature of our visual realities.  As artists we see the fascinating details in the insignificant things and the natural or organised/disorganised patterns around us.

Helen predominantly uses acrylic paints as it allows for her frenetic spontaneous techniques of applying colours and marks which then dry quickly so that changes or additions can be directly applied.  They also provide a bold sense of tone and contrasts.  She often applies collaged materials which can be part of her own photography or found materials.  Natural dimensions are broken and redefined.  She uses spray paint to add pattern and give the canvas extra dimensions and towards the final stages Helen often draws finer details or creates marks with ink pens.  The process of making decisions slows down as the painting evolves.  This gives Helen a sense of when it is coming to its final state.

Helen has a diverse interest in arts and particularly loves the narratives and artistic expressions used by Grayson Perry, Ai Wei Wei, Cornelia Parker and Sean Scully.  Her favourite exhibition is the Royal Academy’s Summer Open because of the diversity of work and entries.  Helen also loves ceramics as an art form and installations involving light and reflection.

Helen’s journey as an artist is continually evolving and working in a studio environment stimulates and enhances her own experience as an artist.  Helen has an open mind with regard to trying new techniques and using different materials and continually thinks about different options for delivering her artistic expression.

Email: arts.helen@googlemail.com

Facebook: Arts United


Artist Work

Geometry unhinged, Acrylic on Canvas, 70 x 50 cm
Refracted, Digital print, Various sizes
Populous, Acrylic on Canvas and ink, 40x30cm