Banquet by Helen Blake


Oil on linen ~ 36 x 45 cm. There is something musical in how Helen Blake's work unfolds over time. This is true of the artist's process; it is also true for the viewer. The longer you spend with Blake's work, the more it yields. Blake paints meticulously, in oils, on an increasingly small scale in recent years, using canvases at times no larger than an average paperback. At first impression, these works convey a bright, orderly abstraction, composed of diamonds, lozenges, triangles, and jagged serrations, interlocked with a grid-like rectilinear formality. However, upon closer inspection, these repeated shapes and geometric impressions are not so streamlined or symmetrical as they appear; they are not the product of careful planning but the result of gradually accreted layers of colour, one laid one on top of the other, affecting one another without intermingling.