Dorothy Helyer – Nina Cook – Dan J. Boyd

Dorothy Helyer Dan Boyd Nina Cook

Showing 24th January 2024 - 10th February 2024

Exhibition Information

Dorothy Helyer – Nina Cook – Dan J. Boyd - Dorothy Helyer Dan Boyd Nina Cook





Dorothy Helyer – The Spaces Between

On a personal level, the transitory and fragile nature of life has been front of mind for me this year, after the sudden, accidental death of a dearly loved brother, and my own cancer diagnosis.
So perhaps it’s no wonder I see within my art practice an increased intensity in my exploration of the inevitable progress and cyclical nature of our time here.

This new development came in late 2022, during a week on Great Barrier Island. One afternoon we walked along Whangapoua beach,near the graves of some of the 130 people lost when the S.S.Wairarapa hit a reef at northern edge of the island in 1894.
We went into a forest area close to the forlorn little graveyard, where there were piles of dead leaves, each one extremely well preserved as a beautiful and delicate skeleton.
Fascinated by these, I gathered a dozen or so and since then their abstracted and digitised enlarged structures have played an important role in my paintings.

The paintings reveal themselves as I paint intuitively, and hints of impermanence, degeneration and decay find their way in.
The end-stages of the life cycle eventually lead on to new life but, in the everyday, there is also vibrant life running in parallel. Life goes on. Hence these paintings intuitively include bright spring-like elements, mid-season growth and autumnal maturity over the underlying, omnipresent metaphor of the skeletal structure that for me stands in as a modern-day equivalent of memento mori.
Dorothy Helyer
December 2023


Exquisite Gravity

In this series of works I explore the contradiction between humanity’s dissociation from, and integral relationship to, nature.
Our bizarre counterproductive and competitive behaviors, the myths of total individualism and perfectionism, the unsustainability of exponential growth and competitive cruelties threaten our very existence, let alone harmony.
The physical world is a reassuring counterpoint to our fight or flight short-term perspective.

I am calmed by our intrinsic belonging to (and of) nature. Yes; wind, sun, rain, fauna, flora etc. but also the physical forces of gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces that are responsible for shaping the universe we inhabit.

Dan J. Boyd – “Sunset Cetera”
“Being a neurodivergent artist presents a unique and demanding journey that goes beyond common perceptions. During my childhood, drawing and sketching unique images became a refuge, a primary source of dopamine. Hours spent creating were my solace, a response to enduring relentless bullying from neurotypical children, who misunderstood me.
Painting – once a joyous pursuit, evolved into a low-dopamine task, where I’m no longer enthralled throughout the process. Completing a piece in its final stages requires an immense push, as I grow weary of it. This series posed a particular challenge, as I’d previously focused on one-off pieces. Daily time-management eludes me, and bouts of depression can accompany the arduous creative grind.
Despite these challenges, I’ve persevered, culminating in what my colleagues and family have deemed a collection of remarkable artworks. The inspiration for
“Sunset Cetera” struck me as I reflected on stage lighting, simulating a moody evening aesthetic. Vocalists featured in the series bear the weight of long creative careers, grappling with the expectations set by past accomplishments, as do I.
The project draws parallels with the Tool song “Invincible,” a favorite of mine. I find its allegory of a warrior longing for another triumph, despite the expectation to pass the torch, resonates deeply: “Long in tooth and soul, longing for another win. Lurch into the fray, weapon out and belly in.”
I invite you to explore this exhibition, where my journey as a neurodivergent artist unfolds through a visual narrative that transcends challenges, triumphs, and the perpetual quest for creative reinvention.”

Full Exhibition Works

Dorothy Helyer – Nina Cook – Dan J. Boyd - Dorothy Helyer Dan Boyd Nina Cook

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