Helen Barnes


My work is inspired by the beauty of the world around us, and by human interpretation of our natural surroundings translated into pattern and form.

My research into past and present cultures inspires me to create colourful, exquisite paintings full of delicate and intricate detail. The main themes are then developed into mixed media, embroidery and quilted artefacts.

I am influenced by the artisans who have passed down iconography and motifs from one generation to the next: from master to apprentice, from mother to daughter, and the concept of the motifs as they change meaning, shape and style through time, form the heart of my work.

The patterns used on everyday objects for aesthetic purpose and religious veneration motivate me to capture these incredible images to keep alive precious snapshots of life. My work celebrates past and present cultures through contemporary art, and my aim is to delight and engage viewers to gain a deeper understanding of our rich cultural heritage.

I have exhibited with Ilkley Art Club, Ilkley Art Trail, and Flax Textile Group, and individually at Weaverbirds and Ilkley Library. Collaborations include designing the Parish Council Christmas card and working on the Bronte Challenge with the Quilters Guild.