Born in Birmingham, England in 1971, Helen Beard is an artist whose paintings may sock the shyest of us.
A vivid rainbow palette, no outlines, and bold perspectives. Helen Beard is a painter, illustrated, sculptor and digital artist, that portrays sex and intimacy.
The bright primary colour makes the explicit sexual encounters seem (as they are) natural, fun and good to the soul.
Working from found images, Beard’s work explores themes relating to gender, sexual psychology and eroticism. Situated part way between abstraction and representation, her figures are reduced to concisely defined fields of vibrant colour. Ever-changing framework: from close-crops to wide shots, to create a landscape of intimacy. Her paintings are a textural fusion between form and colour, utilising sinuous brush strokes on which a myriad remain visible.
Feminist, she is unapologetic for female desire and takes back ownership of sexual imagery from the predominantly male gaze. The work is, at heart, a celebration of the life-affirming nature of sex.
In 2017 Helen Beard was included in the group show ‘Simulation Skin: Selected works from the Murderme Collection’ and in the Spring of 2018, Beard was included in ‘True Colours’, a show of new works by three women artists at Newport Street Gallery, London. Beard’s work was also included in the show ‘21st Century Women’ curated by Jane Neal and Fru Tholstrup last Autumn in London.
Helen studied at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design. She also counts a 15-year career as an assistant art director in the film industry. And during that time, Helen continued with her artistic study, working in the diverse mediums of paint, collage, and needlepoint.
Since 2000, she has exhibited in numerous group shows, including ‘Simulation Skin’ and ‘True Colours’ at Newport Street Gallery. Solo shows as ‘It’s Her Factory’ at UNIT London and her first international exhibition, ‘The Desire Path’ at Reflex Amsterdam.