A Splash of Colour

Delighted to announce a joint exhibition with Helen Field

‘Colour is a power which directly influences the soul’

 Wassily Kandinsky 

‘The Beginnings of Spring 1’ (detail) Helen Field
‘News’ (detail) Viv Owen

Helen Field and Viv Owen became acquainted several years ago as they work in adjoining studios at Westgate Studios in Wakefield. 

‘Although we enjoy a similar space and conditions and light in our studios at first glance it would appear we have very different works, but what actually connects our work is a joy of using colour’ 

Viv largely blends her colours on the canvas, aiming to keep the vibrant and immediate reactions to her chosen subject. She works in oil paints because they remain moveable for longer than other media. This allows for many adjustments – and even sometimes drastic changes of mind during the creation of the painting.

Helen enjoys a strong colour palette mostly using a heavy density acrylic paint premixed for a strong colour and a bold application, but also enjoys using inks as the pigments are so rich, and thickly applied oils for texture. Helen makes works predominantly on board because the surface is easy to apply brush strokes in the free-flowing style she enjoys. 

Over the years Helen and Viv have got to know each other’s work and styles very well and have previously worked together on other projects, exhibitions and open studios.  

About Helen Field

In this series of work created through the pandemic Helen has addressed her own feelings towards the changes we have experienced during this time. You can see through the work a longing to escape; there are repeated depictions of mythical holiday apartments, swimming pools and travel, but also fiery and contained shapes that arose from the feelings of frustration and denial as time passed. 

The works themselves are mostly small and contained due to the necessity of working from home for some of the time, but there is also an explosion of energy and excitement in the later pieces that were created when Helen returned to her studio; recently coinciding with the emergence of spring and new beginnings. 

Helen’s work is inspired by her surroundings, especially seeing the beauty in objects not usually given that attention: train stations, power station chimneys, motorway bridges or pylons on the landscape are fascinations of hers. 

As a local artist Helen has had both solo exhibitions and participated in a variety of group shows around Yorkshire. 

About Viv Owen

Viv comments in her work on emotional entanglement with artificial drama. Absorbing films allows emotional processing of difficult situations – some of which may have been experienced; grief, bereavement, joy, intimacy. Painting becomes a useful way of reclaiming the headspace that these fictional people occupy: putting them back into the outside world.

Viv intends her work to be enjoyed and accessed in a wide variety of contexts. Sometimes she arranges many paintings as an immersive wall of images, or sometimes in small groups as intimate as family snapshots on a mantelpiece. She has displayed in group shows in old industrial mills, reclaimed empty shops, museum spaces and local galleries.

Drop in for ‘A Splash of Colour’ at Bowery Visual Arts, Headingley, Leeds from Saturday 19 March.

Bowery Visual Arts, 54 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds LS6 2AL
More details at thebowery.org