Helen Wilson RSW RGI PAI: Lasting Impressions
An exhibition of new paintings and box constructions by Glasgow based artist Helen Wilson.
Helen Wilson’s original inspiration for this body of work came from one of Liz Lochhead’s early poems, “Poem for My Sister”, which is ostensibly about shoes, but is of course layered with meaning. Wilson wanted to make some gesture of appreciation towards the world of literature - a friendly wave from one art form to another - as she has previously done with ballet and opera. For Wilson shoes seem to absorb and reflect so much of their wearer like a unique extension of a person. She decided to ask a number of writers if they would be prepared to lend her some form of footwear, of their choice, for her to paint. The resultant work is a combination of shoe portraits and spin-off works. The spin-off works are all related in some way to the writers’ work, although that might not always be immediately obvious.
Helen Wilson was born in Paisley in 1954 and trained at Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 1976. Her paintings of ballerinas, musicians, performers and behind the scenes views from her residencies with the Royal Ballet and Scottish Opera have won her critical acclaim. She has exhibited widely in London, USA and Scotland and is the recipient of several art awards including the 2017 Scottish Portrait Award (SPA) in Fine Art, the David Cargill Award from the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, the Diploma of the Paisley Art Institute in 2005, the Garrick/Milne Competition Commissioning Prize: Portrait of David Suchet in 2003 and Regional Prize: The Discerning Eye Exhibition, London in the same year. She was elected member of Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts 1984, Royal Scottish Watercolour Society in 1997 and Paisley Arts Institute in 2005. Wilson’s paintings are in various private and public art collections including the Glasgow Art Gallery, Kelvingrove, Paisley Museum & Art Gallery, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the Royal College of Physicians.