Approved: 16.08.2006

Helen Dryden

Artist, Curator

Approved: 16.08.2006

Currently studying MA Curation Practices, Leeds Arts University

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      Artist Statement

      Currently studying MA Curation Practices, Leeds Arts University

      With my paintings and drawings I am interested in exploring the area between representation and abstraction. Beginning with sketches drawn from life, my photographs, and from my imagination I subvert and disrupt the image through the process of painting. Each painting feeds into the next, and I use formal ‘rules’ to compose and construct the piece. Then I break my own rules – each painting is like a game I play within the constraints of the canvas. I am moved by colour and texture and the intellectual, sensual and emotive properties of a painting. The viewer is challenged to create their own narrative around the paintings, which can be ambiguous, humorous or strange.

      Within my curation practice, I am developing my work into a socially-engaged model, which promotes artists, and works with the input of audiences. I am interested in using art to connect audiences with heritage.  Currently I am working towards my dissertation which involves a practical project where artists are commissioned to respond to a contested heritage site in Leeds, with elements of audience participation.

      CV & Education


      Sept 2018 - MA Curation Practices, Leeds Arts University

      1997-2000 Leeds Metropolitan University, Graphic Arts and Design BA(Hons) 2:1

      1996-97 Cleveland College of Art and Design, Middlesbrough

      Selected solo exhibitions:

      2018 - A speck of dust, Heart, Headingley

      2016 - New Paintings, BrewDog Leeds (Love Arts Leeds Festival)

      2015 - East Street Arts Open Studios, Leeds.

      2015 - Boom, shk (g'dit-g'dit-dat)
      (Phonetic: the ubiquitous drum breakbeat of the UK 90s rave scene), Waterside Arts Centre, Sale.

      2014 – Another New Entry, Jordan's Solicitors (Artwalk Wakefield)

      2014 – Sodium Laureth Sulphate, The Crooked House, Leeds

      2013/14 – bof! Bowery Visual Arts, Leeds

      Selected group exhibitions:

      2019 - Hygge, Kapow! coffee, Leeds

      2018 – Twice as nice, PS Mirabel, Manchester

      2018 - SIZE Matters, Gallery One, The World of Glass, St Helens

      2017 - Capturing Movement, Studio 3 Gallery, Canterbury

      2017 – Hand In/Hand Out (Double Yolk), Lime Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

      2016 - SPECTRUM, PS Mirabel, Manchester

      2016 - Her Sela Art Thing II, Sela Bar, Leeds.

      2016 - Moments, The Bowery, Leeds.

      2015 - Screen Dump, Love Arts Leeds, Sela Bar

      2015 - Shelf Life, PS Mirabel, Manchester

      2014 - Mexico Members' Show, Mexico, Leeds
      2013 - Colourful Creations, The Classroom Gallery, Nottingham

      2009 - Who are you? Impressions Gallery, Bradford, West Yorkshire
      2009 - Leeds Gallery Open, Leeds Art Gallery
      2009 - Particles, Particles, Surface Gallery, Nottingham
      2008 - Salon, Patrick Studios, St Mary's Lane, Leeds

      2008 - Street and Studio, Tate Modern, London,
      2007 - 7 Year Itch, Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery, Leeds
      2007 - Leeds Artists' Show 2007, Leeds Art Gallery
      2007 - Shoes: The Agony and the Ecstasy, Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford
      2006 - Artist's Show 2006, Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds
      2006 - Fusion, photography exhibition, Total Image Nation, Design Innovation Centre
      2006 - Multiply, Corn Exchange, Leeds, West Yorkshire
      2006 - Off The Shelf, Saltburn Gallery, Saltburn, North Yorkshire
      2006 - Sefton Open 2006, The Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport, Merseyside
      2004 - Keighley Arts Factory, Keighley, West Yorkshire
      2004 - Portraits Now, Crescent Arts, Scarborough, North Yorkshire

      2015 - CIT (Creative Industries Trafford) Micro-Commission Award, selected in partnership with Castlefield Gallery.
      2008 - Creative 30 - Nomination, VICE, Volvo, The Independent and Yahoo!,
      2008 - Street and Studio: Tate Modern, London, UK


      'Capturing Movement' catalogue, University of Kent, 2017

      'Then and now' The Bowery, Leeds, 2018

      'Street or Studio' photobook



      2016 - Freaky Monday Body Swap, online event, Leeds

      2006 - Testbed 4, Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery, Leeds

      2013 - Living Breathing Drawing, Woodhouse Community Centre, Leeds


      2018 - Petri Dish, Leeds Arts University. (Co-curated with MA students).

      Annual Sketch That group exhibition 2013 - 2018

      2015 - Screen Dump, Love Arts Leeds