Helen Beard’s stark colour-fields of female sexual experience are a thrilling celebration of carnal desire. Their surfaces are replete with rich textures that mimic the supple contours of the human body. Although sourced from pornographic images, Beard’s work is far from crude: her polychromatic palette pieces together interlocking blocks of flesh, resulting in a tactile and joyous tangle of erotic fantasy.
Working from found imagery, Helen Beard’s art explores themes relating to gender, sexual psychology and eroticism. The work portrays the vivid nature of sexual experience in a technicolour palette of stylised shapes, textured with a myriad of fluid brushstrokes that seem to stroke the subject, like fingers gliding across skin. The works liberate female sexual imagery from the male gaze typically associated with artwork exploring sexuality.
Born in Birmingham in 1971, Helen studied at Bournemouth and Poole college of Art and Design, graduating in 1992. After graduating, Helen worked as a freelance wardrobe stylist and assistant art director in the film industry for fifteen years whilst continuing her art practice, working in various mediums including paint, collage and needlepoint. In 2018 she exhibited her works as part of True Colours - a group exhibition showcasing the works of forward-thinking emerging artists hosted at Damien Hirst’s private museum, the Newport Street Gallery in South London. She has since exhibited in 21st Century Women, a group exhibition celebrating eighteen of the best female artists practising in the UK today, hosted by curators Fru Tholstrup and Jane Neale at Unit London.