16 Stoddart Street

Newcastle upon Tyne


Daily 10am - 5pm

Image shows a cropped section of a painting by Helen McMahon

Helen McMahon

Part of the New Light Prize Exhibition 2020

Aiming to create paintings which exude a sense of calm reverie, Helen McMahon’s abstract paintings are inspired from everyday quiet moments. They often start with a series of photographs as a preliminary source - these can be of ‘things”, but more often a glimpse of a passing shadow or how the space between objects blurs perception.

A process of building up layers of thin paint initiates the direction a painting will take, letting an image or motif emerge and evolve intuitively as a dialogue between mark-making develops. As paint is applied, there is usually more wiped away than ultimately remains on the canvas; it is scratched into, wiped away, drawn into, wiped away and glazed over to build up veils of depth and hidden stories - a mind map of abstracted place.

Currently based in London, Helen was born and brought up on Lancashire’s Fylde Coast.