Ben by Helen Fay


Unframed Etching
Image: 15cm x 21cm

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Helen Fay

Helen says: “For many years my work has been about the beauty, dignity and character of animals . The poise and movement of animals, their behaviour and nature is an area I find endlessly fascinating. I like to think of them observing the world as I am observing them and then try to deduce what it is that they rely on to navigate their way through life. Whether it is the curiosity of a primate or the heightened senses of a hound, each and every creature has unique adaptations and behaviours, skills and strengths and these are what I try to convey in my work.

​At the moment I am focussing on how animals are intertwined with our domestic and family life. I want to capture moments such as a dog flopped on a chair after a long walk or watching the world whilst their owner stops for a coffee or a lazy old cat sunning itself, content in it’s old age. More intimate and everyday than dramatic subjects. I hope to capture these small moments that surround us when we have animals in our life.

I still strive to pare my images down to a balanced simplicity that directs attention to the subject in my pictures. Light is hugely important to the way I draw and recently, as I have started including backgrounds in my work it has become more of a consideration. My aim is to recreate a minute that could be in any time but feels recognisable and familiar.

My influences include Japanese and Chinese prints and drawings and the 19th and 20th Century European artists who were influenced by them too. I love the landscape paintings of Mondrian and Schiele and the work of Bonnard. I am interested in early photography and film both amateur and professional and have recently discovered and been amazed by the work of Yasujiro Ozu. The films and polaroids of Tarkovsky are influences too. I have long been interested in the work of 20th Century war artists such as Nash and Ravillious, the clarity of their work is hugely impressive. Lastly, I would mention two great influences in natural history illustration, Thomas Bewick and Charles Tunnicliffe. Both these men, in their work and curiosity about the natural world have been a lifelong inspiration.”

Higher Education
1990-1992 Royal College of Art, London. M.A. ( R.C.A) Natural History Illustration.
1987-1990 Sunderland University. B.A. Hons. Fine Art Printmaking.
1986-1987 Newcastle College of Art and Design. Foundation studies in Art and Design

Recent Shows
2017 Featured artist show at Glasgow Print Studio.
2016 Exhibition at Fotheringham Gallery.Bridge of Allan
2016 Group show at Fisherton Mill
2016 Group show ar Moy McKay Gallery, Peebles.
2016 Mixed show at Framed Gallery, Perth.
2015 Selected from the Royal Academy exhibition, Zillah Bell Gallery, Thirsk.
2014 Joint exhibition at Robinson Gay Gallery, Hexham.
2013 Group Show at Baxters Gallery, Devon.
2013 Group show at Flat Cat Gallery, Lauder.
2012 Artist of the month, Glasgow Print Studio
2009 Solo show Original Print Gallery, Dublin
2009 Group show, Flat Cat Gallery, Lauder
2009 Glasgow Print Studio, Gallery III
2008 Four Corners Exhibition, London.
2008 Group show, McGill Duncan Gallery, Castle Douglas
2006 House for an Art Lover, Glasgow. Dog Exhibition
2006 Hughson Gallery, Glasgow. Recent Work.
2006 House for an Art Lover, Glasgow. Penguin Exhibition
2006 Glasgow Print Studio, Penguin Exhibition.

Published Work, Awards and Collections
2013 Work produced for Glasgow Print Studio 40th Anniversary portfolio project
2010 Work featured in Telegraph website art review of R.A. Summer Show
2009 Work shown in Space section of Guardian Weekend Magazine
2008 Work shown in Homes and Interiors Scotland
2008 Work in Red magazine lifestyle feature
2007 Work purchased for executive floor of Raddisson Hotel, Dublin
2006 Work featured on BBC feature on Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Work in New Hall Collection, Cambridge.
Work featured in Lifestyle section of the Sunday Times Newspaper.
Cupola Gallery Fifth Anniversary Exhibition, First Prize.
Front cover and article illustrations for New Scientist magazine.
Sheila Robertson Memorial Prize for Drawing. Royal College of Art.

2011 Work selected for British Printmaking Japan 2012 exhibition.
2006 Work featured in “Sexy Fingers” print show in Melbourne, Australia
Drawing trip to New Zealand and Australia including visit to Fire Station
1998 Drawing trip to San Diego Zoo. U.S.A.
Drawing trip and visits to print studios in South Australia and Victoria.
1996 Visit to Juan y Pilar Miro Foundation, Mallorca.
Representative of Oxford Print Co-op Northern Arts award to visit Rajasthan cultural research Institute, Northern India.
Member of the “Flor del Bosque” Rainforest Conservation Trust
Expedition to Los Cedros cloudforest reserve, Ecuador.

Art Fairs
Work shown regularly through various galleries at;
Islington Art Fair
Affordable Art Fair in London, Bristol, Ireland, Amsterdam and New York.
Glasgow Art Fair
Edinburgh Art Fair
Edinburgh International Festival
Work shown through Artaholic and Hay Fine Art agencies.

Annual Open Submissions Exhibitions
Work shown regularly at;
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London.
Society of Scottish Artists Annual Exhibition, Edinburgh.
Royal Glasgow Institute Annual Exhibition, Glasgow.