Helen de Sybel: Borders

25 Jun 2021 – 8 Jul 2021

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13:00 – 17:00
13:00 – 17:00
13:00 – 17:00
13:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 16:00
11:00 – 17:00

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  • Buses: 143, 210, 271 from Archway tube to Highgate Village
  • Tube: Archway or Highgate
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Borders is an exhibition of paintings that grew out of a deeply felt response to the plight of the refugees.


Highgate Gallery is pleased to host Borders, an exhibition of paintings by Helen de Sybel.  Working in acrylic, oil, collage, charcoal and mixed media, she creates intense and forceful images, with an emphasis on the figure depicted in landscape or cityscape.  Colour, dynamic line and challenging themes forge a powerful connection with the onlooker.

Borders first grew out of a deeply felt reaction to the plight of the refugees in the ‘Calais Jungle’ (2016).  Through the medium of oil paint and collage she references the conditions of war and displacement that have driven many of these individuals and their families from their countries of origin to seek a better life. 

“In this body of work, I have become interested in the separation between the figures which struggle to remain 'whole' and the surrounding hostile and unstable landscape in which they find themselves.”

The characters who populate these canvasses are highly ambiguous, in singles and in pairs, sometimes running, sometimes hiding or following or being followed.  Much is left open for the viewer to interpret in these charged, vital, expressionistic works.

As the series evolved, Helen has continued to delve into the interior world of metaphorical boundaries, of transgressions and borders crossed, of personal alienation.

About the artist: Helen de Sybel studied Art History in Italy and went on to train at Harrow and Camberwell School of Art where she gained a BA (hons) and was selected as part of Christie’s Pick of the Graduates.  She works from her studio in East London and exhibits regularly with galleries and as part of the Shoreditch Community.  She is currently Artist in Residence at St Martin`s Church, Gospel Oak, London, where she will be exhibiting an installation of twelve paintings based on the Old Testament.  

Recent exhibitions include Works on Paper at the Shipton Gallery, and British Paintings II at the Project Space, Bermondsey.  Major projects have also included a series of collages based on Milton’s Paradise Lost, now in private collections in the UK and the US, and Urban Journeys (oil and mixed media), an exploration of the human condition depicted through uncertainty and isolation. 

Gallery Talk: 6 July, 3.30-4.30pm - the artist will talk about the background to, and evolution of her work, including her techniques.  Chris Brice, Chair of the London Churches Refugee Fund, will discuss the work of this important charity, which will receive 30% of all artwork sales (www.lcrf.org.uk).

To book tickets:  www.hlsi.net/highgate-gallery.  

For further information please contact:  helencdesybel@yahoo.com

Website:  http://www.helendesybel.co.uk 

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