Artist Helen McCullagh is well-known for her still life paintings of flowers. Based in Queensland, her work developed as she began to deeply explore the application of colour, with the early impressionists being her major influence.
What inspired your latest artworks being showcased at the Spring Exhibition?
I've been enjoying playing with different planes and compositions for my work - still life floating on vertical tablecloths - mixing the perspective of traditional and the modern genre.
How has your work evolved over time?
My focus has been on still life for the past 4 or 5 years, however my practice has evolved to be more about how colour sits within other colours and how distorting perspective changes the feeling of an image.
What inspires and motivates you to create everyday?
Painting is my meditation. It's a time to just be, to escape and be fully present within my practice.
What is the creative process in producing one of your body of works?
I generally decide what the focus will be, and look at artwork that inspires me, or that I feel called to. I always want to learn and better myself as I paint so that I can know as much as I can about the mediums I'm working with. At university, I focused on the figure and thick impasto oil paintings, 10 years on my creative processes have completely changed. When deciding colours I often choose a complimentary opposite and see how it sits with a base colour and build my paintings up from that base.
How do you spend your time when you’re not creating artworks?
Hanging out with my nearly 2 year old. We have also only recently returned from living abroad so we've been doing renovations on our home and I've recently had a studio built in our backyard. I love camping and exploring and walking in nature. I've recently returned from a trip to Bruny Island, Southern Tasmania and I'm looking forward to building a body of work from my time there.
What artist, past or present, has inspired you?
There are many! Bonnard, Vuillard, Matisse but I also love the present work of Dan Kyle, Dani McKenzie, Belynda Henry, Emma Walker, John Smith, Craig Waddell, Paul Ryan, Mark Tweedie, Pip Spiro, Matilda Julian, Henry Curchod...there's really too many to name! I also love the work of the F&F artists!