Dance with my Father again

Dorothy Helyer

Showing 19th April 2016 - 7th May 2016

Exhibition Information

Dance with my Father again - Dorothy Helyer

The news my father had suffered a serious and debilitating stroke rang in my ears… and sometime during those first few hours I heard Luther Vandross singing his poignant song Dance with my Father again. This was nearly ten years ago and though my father died in 2012 I still find this song moving.

Throughout my life my father has been an inspiration to me and this exhibition is in some ways my tribute to him. He was a research pathologist by profession and it is his old medical textbooks and slides that have provided me with the initial impetus for this recent work.

Microscopic images take on their own weird cellular beauty. I have used these, alongside further delving on the internet, to provide the initial spark for my imagination to take off to interpret these. However these aren’t sombre paintings and as I have prepared this exhibition I have really enjoyed working experimentally with a range of mixed media incorporating different materials and techniques. I use any tools that come to hand as I work intuitively, randomly, and at times obsessively. I layer, mask and renew again until I am satisfied with the final image. At times I have built up surfaces on the paintings only to feel the need to erase and bury them once more and in so doing the palimpsest marks the time spent. Other works have required meticulous, obsessive and meditative painting from me.

My father, who was something of a Renaissance man, had amongst his wide range of interests a love of drawing and painting. He was always supportive of my artistic calling although he seemed a little bemused at times as his tastes in art tended to encompass a more realistic, conservative style. Nevertheless, I hope he would have appreciated my approach as I’ve investigated these microscopic subjects in my own way.

Dorothy Helyer April 2016

Full Exhibition Works

Dance with my Father again - Dorothy Helyer

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