Approved: 01.06.2011

Helen Gorrill

Artist, Curator, Art historian, Lecturer / academic, Researcher

Approved: 01.06.2011
  • Location: Carlisle, North West
  • Activities: Higher education, Lecturing, Art historical research, Curating, Gallery education
  • Categories: Curatorial, Education project, Mixed Media, Painting, Research
  • Tags: helen gorrill, feminist, art, painting, research, academic, installation, consultancy


Helen Gorrill has recently completed a PhD in Contemporary British Painting, for which she was the national recipient of The Place of Painting CSAD scholarship.  In response to her findings, Gorrill’s work is currently inspired by Oscar Murillo’s large-scale paintings which ‘imply action, performance and chaos, but are in fact methodically composed of rough-hewn, stitched canvases that often incorporate fragments of text as well as studio debris such as dirt and dust’. Her subject matter has also shifted as a result of a move from the city to the country and as such the stark contrast in environments has underpinned a significant direction for her practice.  Gorrill paints on a large scale with neon and found materials combined with the collaging of used billboard posters and city centre graffiti.  Like the work of Murillo, her work is direct and raw although meticulously constructed, and her new wildlife subject matter is matched alongside luxury brand advertising slogans, suggesting the encroachment of the urban within the natural environment.  Gorrill's work is held in private collections worldwide and included in New York Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A Sackler Center archive, and the artist has been the recipient of an Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust Award (December 2016).


CV & Education

Helen Gorrill – Curriculum Vitae

PhD Fine Art: 

Gendered Economic and Symbolic Values in Contemporary British Painting (80,000 words) 2013-2016, Coventry University. Supervised by Professor Jill Journeaux, Coventry University and Professor Judith Mottram, Dean of School of Material at the RCA


MRes Gender Studies (Visual Art):

Nebula: an Elegy to Helen Chadwick’s Final Work

2011-2013, Northumbria University, supervised by Dr Rosie White

Distinction with University Prize for best dissertation


BA (Hons) Contemporary Applied Arts

2009-2011, University of Cumbria

First Class


FdA Fine Art Drawing

2007-2009, University of Cumbria



Visiting Lecturer, the Royal Academy (forthcoming). 

Associate Lecturer in Art History & Semiotics, BA (Hons) Fine Art and BA (Hons) Fine Art Illustration, Coventry University, 2014-15 (devising and delivering successful new module in contextual studies, art economies and how to conduct a successful arts practice)

Doctoral Research Assistant, Visual Arts Research Group, Coventry University, 2013-2016.  Publication peer-reviewing, co-editing book for Cambridge Scholars, conference sole-organiser and co-convenor,  writing and delivering conference papers

Associate Lecturer in Art & Design, Cleveland College of Art & Design, 2012-2015 (devising and delivering successful new modules in both academic and practice-led courses)



The Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead, London 2014 Wish you were here, AIR Gallery New York 2014 Femmes Fatales, 2014, Creation Fine Arts (solo show) The Edinburgh Art Fair, 2013, Edinburgh AAF Battersea 2013, London Manchester Contemporary/Buy Art Fair, Manchester Retrospective, United Arab Emirates Creation Fine Arts, Solo show, Yorkshire AIR Gallery, Wish you were here, New York The Crypt Gallery, Sweet'Art Collective Show, London MIMA, Love where you live Beetroot Tree Gallery, Helen Gorrill feature artist, Derbyshire Unit 24 Gallery, Great Guildford St, London, Passion for Freedom 2012, London The Affordable Art Fair 2012, Battersea The Affordable Art Fair 2012, Hampstead Funoon Gallery, United Arab Emirates, Womart #2, Dubai Crocus Gallery, The Drawing Exhibition, Nottingham New York: Brooklyn Museum (Elizabeth Sackler Centre), selected for feminist art archive, New York London's West Bank Gallery, Religionis Violenta, London The Execution Room, 20:12Collective, London The Brickyard:  The Happening: Andy Warhol & Velvet Underground multimedia madness, Carlisle Galerie HorsChamp, Exposition Georges Bataille, Paris International Centre for Life Museum, Inverventions, Newcastle (with Christine Borland symposium) DegreeArt Gallery, solo show DEICIDE, London FineArte Gallery, 21st Century Pin-ups, Bond St London FineArte Gallery, 21st Century Pin-ups, Paris FineArte Gallery, 21st Century Pin-ups, Southend on Sea Axis Arts Centre, Flout, Crewe The Gallery Stoke Newington, I-Sho: I's She's Her's Our's; London Business Design Centre, New Designers 2011, London Faculty of the Arts, Emerge 2011, Carlisle Salon Contemporary, Artist of the Week debut show, Westbourne Grove, London Bank Gallery, The Vault 3, Carlisle The Gallery, Open Your Mind exhibition, Hong Kong Islington Metal Works, Censored Zine, London Tempa Tempa at The Griffin, Pincredible exhibition, Carlisle Centre for Recent Drawing, Box of Desires II, London Mona House Gallery, The Body Collective II, Morecambe Northend House Gallery, Enlightenment exhibtion, Milton Keynes Bank Gallery, First Impressions exhibition, Carlisle, A Crash Course in Phantasy, Vyner Street, London Low Luckens Organic Resource Centre, Drawings and ink paintings solo show, Cumbria Mona House Gallery, The Body Collective I, Morecambe Bank Gallery, Summer Academy Show, Carlisle APW Gallery NYC, A Postcard says 1000 Words, New York Faculty of the Arts, The Seven Deadly Sins, Carlisle Hoopers Department Store, Environment exhibition, Carlisle Bodhi Gallery, Sex is not the Enemy, London Caldewgate Fine Art, Morgue Studies, Carlisle Caldewgate Fine Art, The Draughtsman Fine Art Drawings, Carlisle Shaddon Mill, Stead McAlpin Creative Travel Award and Burnetts Drawing Award solo, Carlisle



Peer-reviewer for NAFAE Annual Conference, London Metropolitan University 2015


Peer-reviewer for Drawing Conversations: Reflecting upon Collective and Collaborative Drawing Experiences, Coventry University 2015


Co-editor of forthcoming book Drawing Conversations: Collective and Collaborative Drawing in Contemporary Practice to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in March 2018.



Gorrill, H. (2017) ‘Creating an Equal Future for Female and Male Art Students: an Introduction to Female Artist Role Models in UK Institutions’. The International Journal of Arts Education

Gorrill, H. (2017) ‘Gendered Economic and Symbolic Values in Contemporary British Painting’. Proceedings of the Women and the Canon network symposium. Oxford University: Balliol College, Oxford

Journeaux, J., Gorrill, H., & Suruji, A. (2015) Drawn Conversations, Exhibition Catalogue. Coventry: Coventry University

Journeaux, J. & Gorrill, H. (2016) Drawing Conversations: a digital resource for artists and educators.  Coventry: Coventry University

Journeaux, J., & Gorrill, H. (2017) Drawing Conversations: Collective and Collaborative Drawing in Contemporary Practice.  Newcastle upon Tyne:  Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Mottram, J., & Gorrill, H. (2014) 'Locating Aesthetics in the Economy of the Visual'?. Proceedings of the 13th ELIA Biennial Conference, The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Mottram, J., & Gorrill, H. (2015) 'Aesthetic Models and Perceiving Paintings'?. Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on the Arts in Society.  Imperial College London

Mottram, J., Wiegel, M., & Gorrill, H. (2015) ‘Quantitative Aesthetics in Contemporary British Painting’ [ongoing project] The Royal College of Art, The Department for Theoretical Physics and the Visual Arts Research Group at Coventry University.


Member of British Art Network (Tate) and Register of Expertise (Tate)

East London Fawcett (ELF) collaborator

UK Representative for the Fefminist Art Project USA (

Member of the Catalogue Raisonne Scholars Association (New York)

Member of the Arts in Society Knowledge Community

Member of the FWSA, and the Art and Gender academic community

Member of NAFAE


Awarded CGE funding for travel award to the University of Amsterdam, collaboration, 2015

Coventry University Academic Poster Symposium, prizewinner, 2014

The Place of Painting Doctoral Scholarship, Coventry University, 2013

The British Library Doctoral Research Travel Bursary, 2013

Shortlisted for international artist award 'Passion for Freedom 2012' (adj Tate Modern)

Recipient of Masters by Research Scholarship for Gender Studies, 2011

The Roger & Sarah Bancroft Clark Trust Research Grant, 2012

Northumbria University Alumni Association Grant, 2012

Northumbria University REDS Graduate School Travel Award - Cambridge University, 2012

Northumbria University REDS Graduate School Travel Award - London, 2012

Shortlisted for Salon Contemporary (London)  'Best of British', 2011

Recipient of The Burnetts Award for Drawing, 2009

Recipient of The Stead McAlpine Creative Travel award, 2009