The line has always been apparent in my painting and is a recurring motif – strong, straight and dynamic running alongside more gossamer transient marks. The work is also an emotional response to the medium of paint, the sticky viscosity and watery oils vying for attention as I strive to capture Beauty; my restrained choice of colour often disguises the conflicting elements, creating work that is both melancholic and meditative.
I work in oil. I love the translucency of the medium, the way it takes an age to dry and for the manner that it can surprise me. I gravitate towards canvas primarily because some of my larger works would be very heavy if painted on boards, but also because I love the inherent texture of the surface and the way in which it responds to the pressure of a paintbrush. Working with oil allows me to respond intuitively to the marks that I make and scratch into the wet surface with graphite, which is also a central element of my practice. I often use a very restricted palette, relying on slight differences in tone and paint application to create depth and layers in my work.
I am fascinated by the fragility of the human condition. The notion of Memory and in the way it changes over time and how it fades and resurfaces is key. My ideas are firmly rooted in this concept, evidenced in the layering and reworking of my paintings. My intuitive response and the application and destruction of the surface mimics the concept of memory. I am fascinated by how our memories metamorphosise and how we create complex personal fictions. Living in Wales is also important – witnessing nature – the scars in the landscape, the erosion and the seasons all inspire – memory on a macro scale.
Helen Booth is exhibited at various galleries throughout the UK
Booth studied at Wimbledon School of Art, graduation in Fine Art Painting in 1989. Her work is held in a number of private collections around the world including Candy&Candy, 1 Hyde Park, Soho Voices, Arch Hotel, Langham Hotel, Barclays Bank, Tudor Capital as well as private collectors in the UK, New York, Boston, South Africa, Ireland and France.
In 2018 Booth won the Glynn Vivian Prize for Painting at BEEP International Painting Prize.
Her studio is in an old woollen mill in South West Wales.