Helen Simmonds depicts classic still life subjects; from fruit or flowers found in local markets, ceramics scoured from antique or bric – a – brac shops to objects that carry more lasting memories for the artist. She is drawn to an object by its shape, colour, the way the light plays on its surface; ‘an unspecified quality which catches or delights’ her interest. In the tradition of still life painting, Simmonds paints all her subjects from life, using only natural light.
Simmonds early training in sculpture continues to have a significant influence on the way she paints today, creating her compositions in the round.
‘I am not interested in just painting the objects; it is an interest in all elements present and their interaction; the colour, the shapes, the spaces between them, the shadows, the type of light. I am continuously shifting these elements until I find a balance.’
(Helen Simmonds 2011)
Helen Simmonds (b.1962) in Hertfordshire, now lives and works near the North Wilshire Downs. She gained a Fine Art degree (Hons) in Sculpture from Bath Academy of Arts (1982 – 1985). During this time she was awarded The Gains Trust, Fine Art Student Travel Scholarship, which she used to study at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Simmonds recently won The Royal West Of England Academy Public Choice Award, at the 159th RWA Autumn Exhibition 2011.
28/11/1962, Watford, Hertfordshire, UK. Studied sculpture at Bath Academy of Art, B.A.Hons 1985. Has been painting full time since 2001, influences- spanish and dutch still life painting, Chardin, William Nicholson, Morandi. Her paintings vary in size from small 'alla prima' works, usually about 8" by 10", to larger works up to 35" by 44". She paints from life using natural light only (a difficult yet wonderful challenge)
B.A. Honours Bath Academy of Art 1985
Awards - Gains Trust travel scholarship
Royal West Of England Friends Prize 2011
Exhibits regularly in the West Country, Bristol and London.