Helen Booth graduated from Wimbledon School of Art in 1989 having trained with tutors Bernard Cohen and George Blacklock. In 2012 Helen won the Pollock Krasner foundation award for painting. She lives and works in Wales.
The landscape of Wales continues to be an important element in the development of Booth’s work as she works across a mixture of media – paint, drawing, print and installation. She strives to capture the flattening quality of the melancholy Welsh light, the way it turns everything into line, isolating the geometry of landscapes and rock formations and distilling everything else.
Booth’s work is also influenced by the cyclical notion of time and change and by memory, which she visualises as web-like gossamer threads drifting in her subconscious. Fragility and tenuousness are captured by the layering and reusing of materials, building up a history of marks to create work that is abstract and contemplative.
Drawings and prints are excavated from the surface through repeated scratching, scuffing, scarring and erasing. Absence and presence vie for attention through disrespecting paper and canvas, from hammering and chiseling acrylic plates, inked and burnished repeatedly until the plate is bruised and annihilated revealing how all surfaces are unstable and unreliable.
Seemingly beautiful, seductive images are conjured from violence and horror.
The surface of the paper is punctuated with butchers string, split crochet yarns and brass tacks, creating a tension between the image as object and rupturing to revealing what lies beneath.
Staccato marks wound the surface, multiple layers of ink, gesso, plaster and graphite create shimmering, fragile, gossamer-like images that echo memories of fleeting encounters, lost potential, disrupted structures and shifting horizons.