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July 6, 2023 @ 10:00 am - July 20, 2023 @ 5:00 pm

Waiting Lights – Helen Carter

As I gaze upon Helen’s work, I can’t help but feel transported. The collection mimics the sensation of submerging yourself in the ocean. Noise muffles, your sight becomes blurred, and the outside world feels like an obscure entity. As you peer above the water, a distant glow from the sun breaks through the early morning haze, the gentle waves lap against your skin and your limbs feels lighter as the tide carries your body. You are at one with the elements and your mind is eased into a sense of peace. It is a commendable feat to capture that visceral and sublime feeling through the medium of paint.

One tone is teased across the canvas, manipulated, blended, and wiped away so that countless layers build to create depth. The tranquil simplicity draws you in, allowing your eyes to search amongst the delicate marks so that details begin to emerge. Several of the pieces resemble a rain cloud above a body of water, vertical blends emulate a mist of rainfall whilst the ripples below are delicately highlighted by glowing strips of light. It is a common misconception that simple paintings, such as these, are easier to execute but it takes real skill and an astute eye to decipher when each painting is complete. When has the final mark been applied to distinctly accent a faint cloud or swirl of ocean? These subtle and abstracted forms are the result of tireless efforts and yet, the result is a body of work that instantaneously induces a deep sense of calm and soothing contemplation.

Words by Sophie Castle

“The Waiting Lights series has in part been inspired by the large ships often seen anchored in Falmouth Bay. Seeing their lights floating on the horizon in the early evening has become synonymous with my time living and working in Falmouth and every return visit since. 

Whilst I initially make drawings and take photos of the landscape, these are rarely in front of me when I’m painting. The meditative process of painting becomes a way of teasing out those memories and finding them in the way a brush stroke looks or a reaction between the turpentine and the paint. The resulting paintings are an amalgamation of landscapes observed and the time spent searching for them again in the paint. Some details of the landscape may be left out or forgotten but what remains taps into a more visceral memory of the landscape instead.

Through painting I am developing a visual language to explore my own moments of escapism and self-reflection. Similarly, I hope that my paintings can provide a contemplative space for the viewer, encouraging stillness and inviting their own quiet journeys through the pieces.” – Helen Carter


July 6, 2023 @ 10:00 am
July 20, 2023 @ 5:00 pm
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Beside The Wave
8-10 Arwenack Street
Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 3JA United Kingdom
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01326 211132
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Beside the Wave
01326 211132
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