Having lived in Gloucestershire, England for most of her life, Helen Davison Bradley (b. 1974) graduated with a degree in Fine Art from Cheltenham & Gloucester College in 1998. For many years she ran her own successful graphic / website design studio, until deciding to embark upon a career as a figurative painter in 2010.
In pursuit of a more rigorous education in draughtsmanship, Helen began studying at the Sarum Studio in Salisbury. Here she learned traditional drawing and painting methods whose origins date back to the seventeenth century – a way of working that was very nearly lost in the twentieth century as the naturalistic tradition of working from life fell out of favour.
In a time of so much noise and activity, Helen believes that the hard work and dedication required to work in this challenging tradition is as powerful as ever, and welcomes a return to good, ‘old fashioned’ painting. It takes concentration and thoughtfulness to respond to nature – be it a portrait, still life or landscape. It is not an exercise in copying exactly what is in front of you, but of essential selection; a philosophy of seeing that allows the artist to make choices over many hours as the light and conditions change.
Helen feels that her pursuit of excellence as a painter in this subtle and understated tradition is quietly subversive. She likes that.
2018 Winner of the Minerva Best Portrait Prize, Bath Society of Artists
2017 Winner of the Ian Black Small Painting Prize, Bath Society of Artists
2016 Discerning Eye Chairman’s Purchase Prize Winner, ING Discerning Eye
2016 Winner of the Meltone Gallery Framing Prize Award, Bath Society of Artists
Bath Society of Artists (BSA)
Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) Annual Exhibition, London 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition, London 2020
‘A Change of Season’ Group ShowThe Gallery, Holt, Norfolk 2020
Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) Annual Exhibition, London 2015, 2020
Bath Society of Artists (BSA) Annual Exhibition, Bath 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
ING Discerning Eye Annual Exhibition, London 2016, 2017, 2019
RWA 162nd Annual Open Exhibition, Bristol 2014, 2019
Broadway Arts Festival, Little Buckland Gallery, Worcestershire 2018
Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI) Annual Exhibition, London 2015, 2016, 2017
Cotswold Open Studios, Cirencester 2015
Society of Women Artists – 153rd Annual Exhibition, London 2014