SOFT SUBVERSIONS: Aly Helyer

27 February - 23 March 2014

An exhibition of recent gouaches on paper and new drypoint prints by Aly Helyer. 

Helyer’s paintings are an explosion and re-imagining of mythological figures, universal archetypes, monsters, amorphous hybrid creatures, deities, bogey men, child gods, the iconic, tricksters, magic, voodoo...primordial images built up from ancestral and shared cultural experiences that surface by night in our dreams. Helyer says she is curious about what lurks in the woodshed and who is whispering under the floorboards or in the shadows. She seeks to capture fleeting impressions of these monsters and gods by painting with a mixture of conscious and unconscious decisions, chance happenings and a stream of conscious episodes. The world these creations inhabit is the other side of the hall of mirrors, she takes chances with them, ruins them and then desperately tries to claw their precious faces back from the mud, employing the skills of an alchemist. 

‘Neither benign deities nor malefactors Aly Helyer’s portraits meld a fluid past, present and future. Her highly charged personal investigations also create a platform for an exploration of painting itself.’ Day & Gluckman

Aly Helyer holds an MA in Fine Art Painting from Chelsea College of Art & Design and has participated in numerous exhibitions. Previously Helyer has been selected for The Exeter Contemporary Open, The Jerwood Drawing Prize and Whitechapel Open. 

In 2013 Helyer was selected by Paul Noble for Creekside Open. Recent group shows include ‘Speak, Clown!’, FOLD GALLERY, London, ‘We Sell Pornography Here’, Charlie Dutton, London and ‘The Unknown Sitter’, Lion and Lamb Gallery, London. She lives and works in London.