Approved: 06.02.2012

Helen Latham

Artist

Approved: 06.02.2012

Why I love figurative painting today. Unlike the Middle Ages, when images were precious, we are inundated with jpegs and social media snapshots, which get a fleeting glance and are then discarded. Painting has a radical new role: it adds a layer of time, contemplation and introspection to an image. The very process of making a mark on a canvas, which just makes sense to me as a basic human gesture, is meditative and considered. Paintings demand the viewer to gaze intently and engage with the feelings and meanings that the artist has poured into them.
What interests me is the human condition- what it feels like to be alive today. In our complex and often superficial culture, how do we relate, in a meaningful way, to one another? I often choose the human figure, the most obvious yet complicated source for inspiration, looking at groups of people, that like constellations, are aligned just for a moment in a formation that communicates the sense of belonging or alienation we all feel.
Working from photographs and images from the Internet, modern-day technology is not rejected but incorporated into my working method. An image leaps out and feelings and memories are projected onto it, composition and colour study follow.
Painting is an intense and challenging occupation, with its slower rhythm and the way it often leads to mistakes and failure, all of which give it an intimate connection to the human condition.

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    Thoughts

       

      Biography

      Why I love figurative painting today. Unlike the Middle Ages, when images were precious, we are inundated with jpegs and social media snapshots, which get a fleeting glance and are then discarded. Painting has a radical new role: it adds a layer of time, contemplation and introspection to an image. The very process of making a mark on a canvas, which just makes sense to me as a basic human gesture, is meditative and considered. Paintings demand the viewer to gaze intently and engage with the feelings and meanings that the artist has poured into them.
      What interests me is the human condition- what it feels like to be alive today. In our complex and often superficial culture, how do we relate, in a meaningful way, to one another? I often choose the human figure, the most obvious yet complicated source for inspiration, looking at groups of people, that like constellations, are aligned just for a moment in a formation that communicates the sense of belonging or alienation we all feel.
      Working from photographs and images from the Internet, modern-day technology is not rejected but incorporated into my working method. An image leaps out and feelings and memories are projected onto it, composition and colour study follow.
      Painting is an intense and challenging occupation, with its slower rhythm and the way it often leads to mistakes and failure, all of which give it an intimate connection to the human condition.

      Some themes are a constant with the years; they can be dropped for a while, and then picked up again. These are mine:
      Landscapes with a strong sense of a crude and violent human hand
      Figures that transmit joy, alienation, lightness or sense of community

      CV & Education

      Group Exhibitions 2016 COAX- CambridgeCorrespond- Edinburgh, Correspond - Rye, Fulcrum - ARB Cambridge, Correspond- Halifax. Group Exhibitions 2015 - COAX- Cambridge. Group Exhibitions 2014 "Corresond", Turps Art School, London; "Escape to Happiness"- Guerilla Galleries, London; "Michaelmas Show", Cambridge . Group Exhibitions 2013- 100% Nude- Guerilla Galleries, London. The Art of Mindfulness- Camyoga Cambridge. Group exhibitions 2012 - Artist's Marquee, Burwash Manor,Cambs. Parallax Art Fair, Old Chelsea town Hall, King's Road, London. Group Exhibitions 2011 - Artist's Marquee, Burwash Manor,Cambs 2011 - Christmas Collective, The Forum, Norwich  - Love Cambridge, Pop Up Gallery, Cambridge 2010 - Artisti Italiani, La Dante, Italian institute of Culture, Cambridge