Helen Steele

Helen Steele compositions are never preconceived, yet her themes are recurrent: the use of the figure as the means of investigating various psychological states: harmony, serenity, anxiety, and isolation. The figure is her starting point, not the true subject. The subjects are human presence and absence. Steele’s approach is intuitive, suggesting rather than detailing.


As she works and reworks the canvas the image appears sometimes only to elude, then to reassert itself much later. Working in multiple layers with buried images and words, paint is wiped off and layers are peeled yielding the emerging image with symbolic markings, personal imagery, shapes and words appear, causing questions arise.


Steele creates intimacy through the sensuality of line, the simplest and subtlest of her tools. The line can be bold and assertive or sublime and quite sensual.