Helen Redmond spent decades working in design alongside architectural photographers ‘chasing the light’. She didn’t know it at the time, but this experience helped her find her voice as an artist.
‘I trained as a journalist and interior designer then worked for Vogue Living for 25 years as an interior stylist and design editor, including 12 years as Melbourne editor. This honed my understanding of composition, space, and light,’ Helen says.
Helen quit publishing mid-career to attend the National Art School. She graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting), marking the start of her flourishing professional practice as an artist – and proving it’s never too late to change lanes!
She’s since established a geometric style informed by the structure and beauty of empty Brutalist spaces and Modernist architects. These range from ‘the liminal spaces of Japanese minimalist Tadao Ando and the bold colour blocks of Luis Barragan‘.
‘My paintings depict architectural spaces and the light within them,’ Helen explains. ‘The architectural spaces in my paintings are not a necessarily a descriptive image of a known place, or accretion of spaces. The things that are portrayed are metaphorical rather than actual, such as time, silence, and memory.’
Working from her studio in an old Sydney warehouse (that she shares with a conglomerate of creative artisans!) she’s explored similar themes for her latest exhibition, ‘The Solidity of Fragile Things’.
‘My painting process is a slow and deliberate transformation of light, pigment, and the two-dimensional void. Using oil paint on canvas, the surface is built up in incremental layers to resemble the mutable texture and luminosity of surfaces,’ Helen adds.
The showcase will also be the first exhibition in Otomys’ new John Wardle Architects-designed Prahran gallery space. It’s filled with paintings of rooms and interior spaces that are inviting and mysterious, which Helen hopes will invite viewers to slow down, and be still for a moment.
See ‘The Solidity of Fragile Things’ from Thursday June 16 until Thursday June 30 at 424 Malvern Road, Prahran.