Start Date: Saturday, 11th April 2020 at 10:00 AM
End Date: Thursday 19 March 2020 16:30
This exhibition offers an opportunity to see the full range of Helen Firth’s work bringing together painting and printing made over the last 50 years. Even in her formative years,the boldness and directness of her work are evident in two portraits, done in non – graduating classes in Dundee art college while bringing up her young family. Her early works show already a good grasp of technical problems and an appreciation of colour and form.She experimented with different viewpoints and drew on her experiences , for example of North West Pacific Indian work from Canada. During this time she was sorting her objectives and pushing towards a distinctive style. The work she did after becoming a member of SSWA [and eventually president] was in conjunction with a dynamic group of women artists who showed together in Edinburgh and beyond and was characterised by a variety and vitality . She too did not stand still but appreciated even more how the breadth of the output was received both in the group exhibitions and in other one or two person shows. She did make a move towards landscape subject matter as a response to her greater understanding of the Fife environment. She was running her own art business by this time [The Art Shop]and benefited from the observation of people’s interactions with their own artwork as well as becoming more conversant with the technicalities of materials and with good framing. In the 1990s her training as an Art Therapist fulfilled another aspect of work, which had become an imperative, that of walking alongside others and using the full power of their images for them in times of their stress. She worked for ten years in this field with a wide range of clients and this way of thinking and working naturally opened up insight into her own work . She responded through dynamic drawing and allowing her images in oils to express more the space beyond the reality. The adventure into relief printing was the result of being asked to do some illustration work. This came as yet another gift to be investigated and the initial woodcuts and linocuts can be seen in the exhibition. The delight in the process took off and happy hours were spent in both Edinburgh and Dundee print studios.The simplifying of a work or creating a new emphasis made a counterpoint to the oil work and the process helped her to define her love of line. She continues in her current work with the two favoured disciplines. She likes to take account of the integrity of the objects and the experience of the maker and hopes that through an honest working with those tensions she will arrive at a distinctive artistic voice. Details Exhibition Helen Firth . Fifty years of painting and printing.