Biography

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.

Exhibitions

2017

Bath Society of Artists (BSA) 112th Annual Exhibition
May 20th – July 15th, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath
(Winner of the Ian Black Small Painting Prize)

Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) Annual Exhibition
May 4th – 19th, Mall Galleries, London

2016

Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition
November 30th – December 11th, Mall Galleries, London

ING Discerning Eye Annual Exhibition
November 17th – 27th, Mall Galleries, London
(Discerning Eye Chairman’s Purchase Prize Winner)

Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) Annual Exhibition
May 5th – 20th, Mall Galleries, London

Bath Society of Artists (BSA) 111th Annual Exhibition
April 23rd – June 4th, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath
(Meltone Gallery Framing Prize Award winner)

2015

Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition
December 2nd – 13th, Mall Galleries, London

Cotswold Open Studios
June 13th/14th, 20th/21st & 27th/28th, Brockstead Studio & Wetpaint Gallery, Cirencester

Bath Society of Artists (BSA) 110th Annual Exhibition
May 16th – June 27th, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath

Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) Annual Exhibition
April 16th – May 1st, Mall Galleries, London

Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) 298th Annual Exhibition
March 11th – 21st, Mall Galleries, London

2014

RWA 162nd Annual Open Exhibition
Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

Society of Women Artists – 153rd Annual Exhibition
Mall Galleries, London

‘Journey’ – a group exhibition of work by Gloucestershire based artists
New Brewery Arts Pop-up Gallery, Cirencester