Helen Melland is a British painter who is currently based in Dartmoor in the UK. Her imaginative paintings are deliberately ambiguous, and depict abstracted landscapes or symbolic dream-like visions of the world.
There is a visual dynamism that reminds us of dreams, memory, myth and that liminal space between reality and fantasy and invites the viewer to engage in the canvas and speculate on its meaning. Besides the natural world, Melland is constantly inspired by the emotional expression she finds in colour and a lifetime spent looking at other painters past and present. She is particularly inspired by the freedom and honesty found in folk art and the work of many so-called primitive painters.
Melland’s work plays with our perception of surface and depth through a process of layering and removing paint from the canvas. Water-based paints such as acrylics, gouache and watercolour allow her to build up this textural surface with intricate lines and loosely applied layers. This intuitive, painterly approach allows for the final image to emerge gradually from the developing canvas.
Melland has presented her work in many solo and group exhibitions across the United Kingdom. One of her pieces is present in one of the most significant collection of Women’s art in the world, the New Hall Art Collection at Cambridge University. Melland has also exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Show.