A Solo Exhibition by Helen van Stolk

23.11.2019 – 17.12.2019

  • Helen van Stolk, The Sugarbirds Sanctuary, Mixed media on canvas, 150cm x 130cm

Join us for the opening of this exhibition at 11:00 on 23 November 2019

About the Exhibition

Once again, AITY Gallery is proud to present Helen van Stolk’s organic botanical abstracts in a solo show by the artist. Helen’s lively paintings take on a distinct earthiness this time around and reminds of the woody scents of Fynbos after rain – one can almost hear the bees and the Yellow Bishops just beyond sight. The muted colours are modern and right on trend while simultaneously retaining a classic quality, so should be a delight to anyone looking to add art to their interior space this season.

Helen’s abstracts have structure seldom seen in this genre – clear foreground, middle- and backgrounds can be detected, with placement of main elements in strong positions within the frame. Where abstracts can often feel chaotic, the diagonally placed objects, even thought overlapping, retain a certain spaciousness and harmony. The fragmented “bushes” and “flowers” are free and flowing, never confined, and deliciously whimsical.

Helen uses oils in conjunction with other materials, which lend a luxurious feel on the canvas, and the various mark-making techniques lend texture and mood. Most of Helen’s paintings are perfect for interior spaces in which one wants to relax – tranquility avails, with just enough contrast to keep interest.

BURSTING INTO LIFE is Helen van Stolk’s third solo exhibition. She takes the viewer on an exploratory journey of her intuitive process, allowing them to become joint-creators through thought and share in the creative pleasure.

Her work has freedom like never before and captures the energising effects nature can have on us.

Her practice involves regular top-up trips out of the studio and into nature – sketching, writing and feeling. These moments are held internally to gradually and meditatively unfold on the canvas.

This exhibition is a powerful reminder of the restorative impact the natural world can have on the human spirit.

Artist Statement

To suggest and express the energy, mood and feeling of an object, space or person gifts me: that is the dream.

It is not the external, the case it comes in, not the facade and the tangible, but the spirit I wish to portray. I follow the path; a feeling or story takes me down, and I let the work unfold, exploring detail with awe, but letting it diminish into moments of meditation.

I use a variety of materials – ink, pencils, acrylic, oil and collage – to get in touch with my subject matter, allowing the process of working and playing to intuitively guide me. The act of mark-making, putting down, taking away, placing, shifting and being still takes me to a place where I want to be.

Light and positivity has always been important in my work, which is why there are visible traces of embracing these elements in the work I do.

About the artist

It wasn’t until Helen van Stolk’s corporate high-flying career in Retail Property began to interfere with the balance in her life that she started to truly understand the power of art and the freedom creativity brings.

In 2008, Helen transitioned into a full-time artist. Eight years later, her career has launched into a whole new trajectory as she explores the magic of creating without boundaries – the art of playing, using colour and working intuitively from within.

Her work has been exhibited at the Cape Gallery, The Bay Hotel and numerous exhibitions in Kirstenbosch, as well as Art in the Yard, Candice Berman Gallery and State of the Art. She has been featured in magazine publications, was selected as a Veluka finalist at ArtB, has been awarded Fellowship of the South African Society of Artists and has won numerous awards.

Her work is in homes and collections all over the world.