Landscape artist Helen Glassford gets to the heart of slow living in new exhibition

As a landscape artist Helen Glassford is used to noticing the simple beauty of the wild and remote places that inspires her art.

With her new solo exhibition opening just days away, Helen now hopes to help her audience cherish the smaller moments too. 

Helen will launch her newest show landscape paintings ‘Every Waking Moment’ at Strathearn Gallery in Crieff on 27 May where it will run until 25 June. 

‘I think of these paintings as short stories, poems or even a piece of music, each to be taken at their own pace’, Helen said.

‘They stem from the day-to-day awareness and appreciation of nature, noticing the changing ambience and atmosphere of a place or moment.’

The exhibition is a celebration of Scotland and its rugged landscapes which are imbued with a sense of history, time and atmosphere. 

As with most of the Tayside-based artist’s work there is an abstracted approach to oil painting which offers a deeper connection to the personality of the landscape in which she finds herself.  

‘They are not simply a painting of specific places, since my titles rarely name a location, but of my experience and encounter of the memory,’ she said.

‘Each landscape has a personality of its own, once you take the time to look.

‘If people find an emotional response to my work then it means I have succeeded in some regard with joining the dots – making that human connection through paint. 

‘I paint what I see and hope for others to see it too.

‘Nature is escapism, as is Art…bracing the cold winds on a Southerly point on Skye waiting and watching for the horizon to appear and disappear. 

‘Looking and absorbing that shift in light.’

Helen studied painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee in the late 1990s, later completing a Masters of Fine Art there. 

She moved to Newport-on-Tay in 2003, where she still lives with her daughter, working from a studio in her home. 

Helen Glassford

The exhibition is a celebration of Scotland and its rugged landscapes

‘It’s a living landscape,’ said Helen. 

‘The light here on the Tay estuary is a constant inspiration. 

‘I look out of the studio window to the big skies and low horizon. 

‘The river offers an insight into how the wind is behaving in that moment, channels snaking and shifting with the air currents. 

‘The weather changes within minutes and, with it, the light and shadows. I have access to the windswept Fife beaches and hills’

While Helen’s own daughter is more into music than visual art, she is impressed by the way she sees the world. 

‘In some ways she’s a typical TikTok teenager but she is observant – and does look beyond technology,’ said Helen.

‘I smile when she notices and feels a shift in the light. 

‘Although art forms and ideas are constantly moving with the times, our human appreciation with the world is still deeply rooted.’

The Helen Glassford Solo Exhibition ‘Every Waking Moment’ opens at the Strathearn Gallery, from May 27th to June 25th. 

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