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Helen Redmond’s First Solo Exhibition Explores Light + Modernist Architecture

Creative People

After initially working as a journalist, interior designer and then Vogue Living design editor, Helen Redmond found her second calling as an artist.

Her paintings are the outcome of ‘a lifetime steeped in the visual arts, design and architecture’, drawing on themes of Modernist architecture to create her abstract works of imagined and surrealist spaces.

The Sydney-based painter’s latest solo show, The Solidity of Fragile Things’, opens at Otomys’ new Melbourne gallery from Thursday, June 16.

15th June, 2022

Helen Redmond’s new exhibition,The Solidity of Fragile Things’ opens in Melbourne tomorrow! Photo – Nicholas Watt

She works from her studio in an airy old warehouse in Sydney. Photo – Nicholas Watt

Helen Redmond. Photo – Nicholas Watt

A peek at some of Helen’s latest works! Photo – Cassandra Hannagan

‘[My studio is] in a former mews and manufacturing workshop in the heart of Paddington, the centuries’ old building has been home to a conglomerate of creative artisans for many decades,’ Helen says. Photo – Nicholas Watt

 

‘My paintings depict architectural spaces and the light within them,’ Helen says. Photo – Nicholas Watt

Helen at work on on of her large scale pieces. Photo – Nicholas Watt

Years of working as an interior stylist helped form the basis of her works. Photo – Cassandra Hannagan

Labyrinths of intriguing spaces feature in most of her paintings. Photo – Nicholas Watt

Depth perception and light and shade help characterise her unique style. Photo – Cassandra Hannagan

‘Painting and drawing has always been a meditative source of refuge from the busy-ness of daily life – juggling the multiple demands of careers, family, home,’ Helen says. Photo – Nicholas Watt

Helen describes her work as capturing ‘stillness, silence and light’. Photo – Cassandra Hannagan 

Christina Karras
Wednesday 15th June 2022

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. 

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net