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about Helen Fay | back

Helen studied BA(Hons) Fine Art Printmaking at Sunderland University, followed by an MA at The Royal College of Art in Natural History Illustration.

Her many awards and exhibitions are a testament to her unique approach and talent and on her graduation in 1992 she won the Sheila Robinson Memorial Prize for drawing at the RCA.

Helenís work combines her two main interests, drawing and natural history. Both the activity of drawing and the subject are a source of fascination and have been for as long as she can remember. Over many years she has drawn primates, birds, quadrupeds and curious creatures such as echidnas and tree kangaroos. Lately sheís been looking at domestic animals, particularly dogs.

Artistically, her interest lies in creating a balance between a solid mass and the space in which it sits. She pares down the image to the basics, light and dark, mass and space, using the way light falls on the subject to add depth and life to the composition. She is influenced by Japanese art, not only because Japan has an amazing printmaking history but also the palette and composition in traditional Japanese art is so subtle and sparse. She finds that print making, especially etching is the media that best translates her drawing into a solid and dramatic image. She enjoys working with and into a material such as steel or copper, etching lines and tones then working directly to scrape areas back or scratch areas to make them darker. It is a surface that one draws in as well as on.

Helenís work is much in demand through a selected range of UK galleries and she is a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy Summer Show.†

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