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Indigo Art

Helen Glassford

Helen Glassford walks and climbs in the Scottish hills, no doubt seeking the same things sought by others before her. That she shares a commonality of experience with all who yearn for that moor-and-mountain solitude, or a sense of the sublime, is undeniable, but her desire to translate something of her wanderings into paint less common, and her chosen language rarer still. She finds no satisfaction in attempting to portray a singular viewpoint, aware that the mind’s eye does not settle easily that way, preferring instead to try to convey something of the things she saw and how they made her feel, in a manner that accepts the fleeting fluidity of perception. It is as if she wants to distil the journey, so that drip by drip, brushstroke by brushstroke, the jumble of sensory impressions that a day in the wilderness so gently imprints on the psyche, is sorted and catalogued into layers of oil and pigment. In some works the shape of the land is evident, in some less so, and in others almost not there at all, almost as if it was not seen or fully remembered, or even discarded as not relevant. In some, colour is naturalistic, while in others the viewer might be confounded by a block of blue, a slash of indigo, a zig-zag of green, or a swathe of golden ochre, hinting at a sensation more keenly laid down. These things are not simply bravura gesture or visual punctuation, but snippets of evidence – stuttering, imperfect glimpses and traces of something felt viscerally, but already fading in the memory. Paint is applied and removed, assessed and re-assessed, images emerging out of the murk of imperfect recall. What is left is quiddity, essence, something to be recognised as verity, or as close as it is possible to get, and the artist moves on, to the next thing.Alan GreigEDUCATION:2002 Masters of Fine Art, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. Dundee, Scotland. 1995–1998 BA (Hons) Fine Art, Drawing & Painting. Duncan of Jordanstone.1994–1995 Foundation in Art & Design. Cumbria Institute of the Arts, Carlisle, CumbriaHelen has won many prestigious awards. Her work is exhibited extensively throughout the UK.