Helena Gorey


 Mine is not a desire to represent but to distill the essence of this place.

My home is a cottage situated in pastoral landscape in rural Ireland close to where I grew up, with a view to a field with an almost perfect horizon line. One of my earliest memories is picking blackcurrants in this field planted by my father. The experience of growing up and living in this place and its surrounding nature has influenced much of my work. Mine is not a desire to represent but to distill the essence of this place. My approach is intuitive and is developed slowly over time. My desire is to make works that have a sense of depth but may appear effortless sometimes bisected by a subtle horizontal line suggesting a possible land or seascape and conjure the atmosphere and power of nature through a veil of – light, mist, fog and rain. When a sense of completeness is not achieved on first touch a process of layering from light to dark and dark to light is developed in order to arrive home.



1978 – 82 Limerick School of Art and Design

1982 Academia di Belle Arti, Perugia, Italy

1985-2000 Theatre Unlimited (artist in residence)

Solo Exhibitions

2018 Proscenium, Ashford Gallery, RHA, Dublin, The Glebe Gallery, Donegal & S.T.A.C

2017 Proscenium Studio Exhibition, Alternative Kilkenny Arts
2016 Studio Exhibition, Alternative Kilkenny Arts

2013 The Orchard, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny

2006 Two Trees, The Dock, Leitrim

In Memoriam, Canoflan Ucheldre Centre, Wales 2005 In Memoriam, Kilkenny Arts Festival

2004 Putting a Face to a Name, Lithuanian Day of Welcomes, Kilkenny & Vilnius

What You Need for Painting, Sligo Art Gallery & Mermaid Arts Centre

2003 What You Need for Painting, Limerick City Gallery
2002 Ground, Studio installation, Kilkenny Arts Festival
2001 The Blackcurrant Field, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery & Triskel Arts Centre

2000 Butler House, Kilkenny Arts Festival
1999 Landscape and Memory, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery
1996 Stranded, Jo Rain Gallery
1994 Three Into Two, RHA Gallery
1991 Blues, Temple Bar Gallery & Basement Gallery, Dundalk,
1986 Theatre Unlimited, Kilkenny Arts Week
1984 Butler House, Kilkenny Arts Week

Selected Group Exhibitions

2021 Sunyata at Farmleigh Gallery curated by Mark St John Ellis The Overhanging Garden, Kilkenny Arts Festival

2020 Highlanes Gallery Open Submission The Sky is Blue, Visual Carlow

Contemporary Irish Art Centre Los Angeles, 'Between You and Me' Online program Nag Gallery Online, Helena Gorey & Masashi Suzuki

2019 Rathfarnham Castle curated by Mark St.John Ellis, NagOffsite

2018-2020 Pathways 6 '..the lives we live..' Grangegorman Primary Care Centre

2018 Peripheries Open, Gorey School of Art
2017 Coast – Lines, Irish Museum of Modern Art

Peripheries Open, Gorey School of Art

2015-2021 RHA, Annual Exhibition

2014 Celebrating 70 Years of the Butler Gallery Collection
2008 Temple Bar Gallery
2007 RHA Gallagher Gallery
2005 40 Shades of Green, Glucksman Gallery, Cork & Memphis & Vilnius
2004 Views from an Island; Contemporary Art from Ireland, Beijing and Shanghai

From the Centre to the Edge, Video exhibition from Ireland and Lithuania

Ecological Landscape symposium & exhibition, Kaunas, Lithuania

2003 New Acquisitions, Irish Museum of Modern Art

New Acquisitions, National Self Portrait Collection, University of Limerick

Irish Art Today, Civic Theatre Gallery Tallaght
2002 Iontas, Sligo Art Gallery (also, 2001,1991, 1995, 1999)
1999 EV+A 99 Reduced, Limerick City Gallery of Art (also 1992, 1987)

 1997 Lingua Oculorum, Beltable Arts Centre, Limerick

Six Artists, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny 1996 Art of the State, touring Ireland

Claremorris Open Exhibition (also 1989, 1994) 1995 Monaghan Open Exhibition (also 1993)

1994 XXVI Festival International de la Peinture, Cagnes-sur-Mer, France

1989 GPA Awards for Emerging Artists, Douglas Hyde Gallery


2020 Artworks Award Carlow Arts Festival/Visual Carlow Highlanes Gallery, highily commended award

2019 Art Links Professional Development Award

2017 Arts Act Grant, Kilkenny County Council

2006 CCAT Award for touring, Wales
2005 Project Award Kilkenny County Council

2004 Travel and Mobility Award, The Arts Council

Residency Nida & Kaunas, Lithuania
2001 Publications Assistance Grant, The Arts Council
1995 Painting Award, Iontas and 1st Prize Monaghan Open Exhibition

1994 George Campbell Memorial Travel Award

Residency, Fondacion Valparioso, Mojacar, Spain

Public Collections

The Irish Museum of Modern Art

The Arts Council
The Glebe Gallery
The Office of Public Work
Contemporary Irish Art Society
National Self Portrait Collection
The Butler Gallery
Highlanes Gallery and Limerick City Gallery of Art

Selected Bibliography
2019 Object lesson in skillful juxtaposition of things' Aidan Dunne, Irish Times 30th July

NagOffsite publication

2018 'What you get is more than what you see' Aidan Dunne, Irish Times, 6th March Proscenium, RHA Spring Newsletter & Artist's publication, Artistic License The Gloss Magazine on line, 28th February, 'Art is thriving in a time of cultural disruption' Aidan Dunne, Irish Times, 8th December

2015 Art & Architecture of Ireland Volume V: Twentieth Century by Catherine Marshall & Peter Murry published by Royal Irish Academy

2013 'The Orchard in which Art Grew' Aidan Dunne, The Irish Times 1st April

2006 'Spaces for the Imagination', Aidan Dunne, Irish Times 30th August.
'Just Don't Say I Know What I Like' Gemma Tipton, Irish Times 18th of February

2005 In Memoriam, Essay - Lisa Moran
Kilkenny Arts Festival, Visual Arts catalogue - curator Mike Fitzpatrick 'Ravishing Images and Space to Dream' Aidan Dunne, Irish Times 18th August

2004 Ecological Landscape curator Gintautas Vaicys
Circa 108, 'What you need for Painting' Sarah Brown

'In Essence' Marianne Hartigan, Sunday Tribune 2nd of May
2003 What you need for Painting, Essay Donna McGreevy
2002 'The Perfect Sight for Clear Vision', Aidan Dunne, Irish Times 13th August

2001 Focus 2, Gandon Editions, Essays Catherine Marshall & Ruairi O'Cuiv

'Absolut Art or Absolute Adverts ? ' Aidan Dunne, Irish Times 15th August Review, Alana Hopkins, The Irish Examiner 5th of November
Review, Mark Ewart, Irish Times, 7th November
Rattlebag Radio Review Diarmuid de Paor

1999 Review, Marian Lovett, The Sunday Times, 24th January 1996 Review, Medb Ruane, The Sunday Times, 23rd June

Review, Catherine Heaney, Circa, June

1991 Blues, Essay- Brian Fallon