HELEN FLOCKHART

Graduating with a First in Painting from the Glasgow School of Art in 1984, Helen Flockhart has built a reputation as one of the finest and most distinctive Scottish artists of her generation. Her work is held in many British and international collections, including the Scottish Arts Council Collection, Edinburgh City Arts Centre, the Fleming Collection of Scottish Art in London and Glasgow Museums.

Often heavy with references to myths, legends and literature the works and characters and suspended in the moment forever, waiting for a witness or a voter to peek in. There is a sense of secrecy-the stories can’t play out, the conversations can’t take place as long as one is looking. Creating tensions, but also creating space in and around that moment-lending importance, bearing witness.

Helens’ works pull you into a parallel universe, one which holds its own dialogue and claims its own space.  All of the above serve one purpose, their sole job to ‘harness the core of a moment’ (Flockhart). The air in the paintings is almost always still but equally unstoppable.

They are masterfully painted with impeccable composition, with fluid and ripe narratives.

'Nobody paints like Helen Flockhart.  In a contemporary art world where the autobiographical and the pastiche are everywhere, Helen Flockhart paints pictures which are personal and unique; and, at the same time, enthralling and universal.  Through the transforming power of her vivid imagination the poetic art of Helen Flockhart creates a fascinating visual world that is familiar and fantastic, lost and found again.  As in our dreams we both lose and simultaneously find ourselves in this magical realm of other existence.  Here the mundane and the mythical are at one with each other.  Yet there is no illusionism involved.  Nothing is veiled or hidden from our intense gaze as we are openly invited to absorb and pour over the intricately painted patterns of decorative design, and the scrupulously worked surfaces of descriptive detail.  All this excessive display takes place within an enclosed fabulous domain where every action and expression is redolent with symbolic significance and emotional intensity.  As with the art of Paul Klee, Helen Flockhart's paintings reveal a world of alluring strange beauty which for those of us who enter - can disturb, enthrall and yet console - our distracted lives in these troubled times.'

Bill Hare, 2011, Honorary Teaching Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Scottish Art, The University of Edinburgh