HELEN KERRIDGE

HELEN KERRIDGE


Helen Kerridge has been working as an artist, photographic retoucher, illustrator, and arts tutor for over forty years.

She began her career as a teenager at a professional photographic printing laboratory in Auckland, of a time pre-computers and Photoshop, where seamless artwork was manually implemented to alter images. Her early career took her to America where she specialised in retouching portrait photographs for exhibitions. The importance of flawlessly altering prints later led to the development of her photo-realism.

Throughout her career Kerridge has worked in a variety of genres including Cubism, Impressionism, and landscape painting. She spent time in Florence studying portraiture in the sight size technique of John Singer Sargent. Of the many areas she has delved into still life continues to resonate and return to her oeuvre.

Painting in both acrylics and oils Kerridge has two forms of still life she works in: photo-realism being her main focus but a second, more stylized imaginative still life with Kereru feasting on tables laden with produce, continues to reappear. These wood pigeon paintings strongly reference the Old Dutch Masters, hinting at issues outside the objects shown, layers of meaning beyond the visible.

Kerridge has always had an avid interest in the symbolism imbued in the paintings of the Old Dutch Masters, and in this tradition she also infuses her photo-realism with objects capable of connecting with, and transporting the viewer. Her utilitarian subjects ubiquitously resonate and remind us of our past: an old glass milk bottle, a Crown Lynn ceramic, enamelware our grandparents used - remnants of yesteryear painted with meticulous precision. Paintings set in banal modernist environments, bathed in daylight, with a minimal grouping of items. There is stillness, a sense of contemplation, and a celebration of beauty.

Kerridge’s work is held in both private and public collections throughout New Zealand.