Helen Dryden

Helen Dryden is a Middlesbrough born artist, who now lives in Leeds, working from her studio at Sunny Bank Mills. Her practice also involves curating, illustration and photography.

“I work primarily in painting. I create in an expressive and instinctual way, combining imaginary objects, people and scenarios with those I have observed in real life, creating absurd and vibrant canvasses. Drawing and photography is often a starting point, or else images seem to appear spontaneously from the painting as I work.

My paintings are usually constructed with multiple layers of acrylic paint, sometimes combining spray paint or collage. I love to experiment with ways of beginning a painting, and I enjoy not knowing what the outcome will be. The narrative of my work is ambiguous, where the viewer is able to make their own associations. I work in the abstract and the figurative, twisting reality to my own joyful or grotesque psychedelic, surreal fantasies. I’m attracted to strangeness and the wonder of perception – the affect of our emotions, experiences and imagination on what we think is reality.”



“I’m influenced by science fiction, folk horror, environmental concerns and a love of nature, as well as pop culture and dreams.”