7 April - 7 May 2016
TJ Boulting is delighted to present the gallery’s first solo show with HelenA Pritchard. A 2011 graduate from
the Royal College of Art MA in Painting, since then her work has expanded beyond the realms of painting
into the sculptural, the object and most recently beyond that into the extra dimension of light. The common
thread between them all being her utilisation of form, colour and material.
Crossovers and layering are central to her new explorations, combining the traditional materials of painting
and sculpture - oil paint, bole (rabbit glue) and gesso - with everyday objects like netting, wire, mesh, silk,
plants, plastic and packaging. Once assembled, the works also respond to each other in the space in which
they are intended. The often ephemeral and unfixed nature of the work is due to this context of installation, a
response to something, someone, or a place. Often her experimental use of materials, such as net curtains,
chopsticks or perfume bottles, brings a sense of domestic to the gallery space. There is also a sense of
narrative behind each material, of its past and journey. This process means each work is not confined to a
certain period of production, the artist utilises a continuous reconfiguring of earlier works into new
inventions, made from found and discarded materials collected in her studio, to be considered over time,
which often adds up to years.
In the main room of the gallery, the work is characterised by tensions created between form and material.
Geometric constructions drawn from modernism in architecture, advertising and packaging, are shown
together with objects of paper, cement, plaster, which cite the handmade. ‘Encounters’ refers to the artist’s
direct response to the gallery space as well as the viewer’s subsequent subjective experience. “I have an
inclusive, yet oppressive, way of arranging space. The work can be singular or grouped through an assemblage
of formal connections, adding to the transient nature of the work. The work displays an attraction to my
questions surrounding what makes an object a painting or a sculpture.”
Entering the back space we are confronted with the added dimension of light, made in collaboration by the
artist with Ilenia Bombardi. Old projectors, found slides, pot plants and prisms are arranged in the space to
cast coloured light forms, rainbows and shadows onto the walls. The result is again a layering of form and
materials and medium. The final work is reliant on the interaction of all components, without the surface of
the wall and objects the light does not exist, and without the light the forms and colour disappear. It is a
fragile balance but a carefully considered one. The viewer is again invited to navigate the space and
experiences the work around them with this extra dimension, exploring the relational aesthetics at play.
Helen A Pritchard graduated from the Royal College of Art MA Painting in 2011, where she received the Stanley Spencer
Scholarship. She has shown in several international group shows including Waterside Contemporary and the Moscow
Biennale and had a recent major solo show at SMAC gallery, Cape Town. Born in Durban, South Africa in 1975, she
currently lives and works in London.