Helen Eager

Satellites

1 - 29 September

exhibition essay

Satellites

Helen Eager’s latest exhibition ‘Satellites’ examines and weighs the tension created between the colours and shapes in her pure abstract work.

Eager’s investigation of geometric abstraction has developed over time through her exploration of colour, light, and form, exploring both negative and positive space. As the work has evolved the overall forms have become increasingly contained, the triangular shape has morphed and shifted but it still remains the dominant player in the picture plane. 

The title of the exhibition ‘Satellites’ goes back to Eager’s fascination with science and the solar system, but more poignantly the title refers to the overall appearance of the paintings, depicting an object in space. Just as a satellite is an odd shaped form full of complex technology, so are these paintings.

Eager’s forms have condensed, the triangles have now become the anchor points around which she has built fighting clusters of colour which float in a field of white. The Satellite paintings developed over a long gestation in Eager’s studio, having originated as a series of small pencil drawings. The original pencil drawings were soft and delicate and the paintings began this way, but over time they evolved to become very bold works indeed.

Like Eager’s previous work, her paintings are again subject to a set of rules that define the inner logic and structure of each individual painting. Eager’s Satellite series are distinguishable in that each painting comprises of four triangles, three shapes and four colours. These ‘rules’ are parameters created by Eager as a means to challenge herself, pushing the limits to find the perfect balance within her paintings.

Eager treats the canvas as though it were a piece of paper, acknowledging the sharp, rectangular, shape of the canvas, Eager considers this to be an integral part of her work. Rather than accepting the white space as a backdrop for her painting Eager sees this white space as yet another shape she is defining.

What is most apparent in Eager’s latest works is the concentration on painting the ‘form’ in a way that it almost becomes an object, a thing in its own right.

 The structure of Eager’s Satellite paintings has taken on a new three dimensional stance, the individual shapes seem to propel forwards out of the picture plane, almost as if they want to lift off of the canvas. The manner in which the shapes have come together is playful, but very considered, the forms created seem as though they could be pulled apart, folded inwards, twisted and put back together.

This twisting and sensory movement of the overall form is heightened by Eager’s unique use of colour. Her bold and vibrant colour combinations both fight and complement one another, and it is this that pushes and pulls her satellites.

These are challenging works as Eager’s choice of colour is unconventional. Combined with her new geometry these clusters of pure colour break new ground and launch Eager into new territory. 

 

Felicity Brading, 2018

Satellites

Helen Eager’s latest exhibition ‘Satellites’ examines and weighs the tension created between the colours and shapes in her pure abstract work.

Eager’s investigation of geometric abstraction has developed over time through her exploration of colour, light, and form, exploring both negative and positive space. As the work has evolved the overall forms have become increasingly contained, the triangular shape has morphed and shifted but it still remains the dominant player in the picture plane. 

The title of the exhibition ‘Satellites’ goes back to Eager’s fascination with science and the solar system, but more poignantly the title refers to the overall appearance of the paintings, depicting an object in space. Just as a satellite is an odd shaped form full of complex technology, so are these paintings.

Eager’s forms have condensed, the triangles have now become the anchor points around which she has built fighting clusters of colour which float in a field of white. The Satellite paintings developed over a long gestation in Eager’s studio, having originated as a series of small pencil drawings. The original pencil drawings were soft and delicate and the paintings began this way, but over time they evolved to become very bold works indeed.

Like Eager’s previous work, her paintings are again subject to a set of rules that define the inner logic and structure of each individual painting. Eager’s Satellite series are distinguishable in that each painting comprises of four triangles, three shapes and four colours. These ‘rules’ are parameters created by Eager as a means to challenge herself, pushing the limits to find the perfect balance within her paintings.

Eager treats the canvas as though it were a piece of paper, acknowledging the sharp, rectangular, shape of the canvas, Eager considers this to be an integral part of her work. Rather than accepting the white space as a backdrop for her painting Eager sees this white space as yet another shape she is defining.

What is most apparent in Eager’s latest works is the concentration on painting the ‘form’ in a way that it almost becomes an object, a thing in its own right.

 The structure of Eager’s Satellite paintings has taken on a new three dimensional stance, the individual shapes seem to propel forwards out of the picture plane, almost as if they want to lift off of the canvas. The manner in which the shapes have come together is playful, but very considered, the forms created seem as though they could be pulled apart, folded inwards, twisted and put back together.

This twisting and sensory movement of the overall form is heightened by Eager’s unique use of colour. Her bold and vibrant colour combinations both fight and complement one another, and it is this that pushes and pulls her satellites.

These are challenging works as Eager’s choice of colour is unconventional. Combined with her new geometry these clusters of pure colour break new ground and launch Eager into new territory. 

 

Felicity Brading, 2018