Helen Barnes 2013

Helen Barnes         B.Ed- M.A (dist)

History and background

Born on the edge of the North York Moors I have always been influenced by the landscape and the way in which man has marked it with his presence, and the resultant patterned images. As an art /textiles teacher, I have studied with, and inspired students to examine the elements of design, which make up our environment.

I further extended this investigation while completing my City and Guilds in Embroidery, looking at the use of pattern on architecture and textiles in India, Vietnam, Greece and the British Isles.

My M.A. led me to investigate Romanesque painting from the churches of this time period. The layers of past imagery left upon these religious buildings became the focus of my work. The resulting art-work transmitted through rich, intense colours reflects the spirituality of a place, across time.

Ideas and inspiration

Faded remnants of pattern created by man remain on the landscape and in historic buildings for our reflection.

The examination of theses decorative images that have been transformed through bands of time form the essence of my artwork. The visual elements that is inherent from our artistic past.

These images are often seen on Textiles as well as architectural elements; these already abstracted patterns sewn or woven onto cloth inspire both my painted and textile work.

The resulting artwork reflects the power of an image taken from the past into the present.


In my paintings I use a combination of watercolour, gouache paints with pencil crayons gold pens and ink. These are layered up and rubbed back many times to create an image built up over a period of time, to reflect the multi-layered decoration built up over past periods of time.

While working in textiles I use a variety of rag papers and cloth to patch, quilt and hand stitch, sometimes using prints from my own paintings.

Jackie Knight

Previous exhibitions

University of Leeds M. A- ‘Bands of time’ -2007

Dare Café-‘Bands of Time’-2007

Skipton library ‘Brought to Book’-2008

Otley Court House Flax group-Looking at Linen-2010

Cliffe Castle Museum Intervention-Flax group- 2010

Weaverbird Gallery-Ilkley Past -2011/2012

Morocco Girls College High Atlas 2012

Ilkley Art Club exhibitions 2010-2013