Helen Dean

Helen Dean Artist

Though having completed a Fine Arts degree with honours in 1995, Helen didn’t fully commit to painting until 2015, when she finally found her rhythm in the abstract style. Originally from the U.K., she has called New Zealand her home since 2003. Helen found that her move away from Auckland city life to being surrounded by Waitakere’s lush nature re-awoke her artistic vision, after a long hiatus from painting. Since then, she has exhibited in select New Zealand shows and galleries, and her artworks are held in private collections internationally. Just this year, Helen created a piece which was transformed into a print for the NZ fashion brand, Juliette Hogan. 

A continuous student of colour, form, and how paint works, Helen is a firm believer that you never stop learning. Her intuition primarily guides her hand—she enjoys the freedom to respond to any happy accidents, contributing to the natural and uninhibited nature of her paintings. Helen’s creative process contains much layering, using varying width and thickness of brushstrokes—and while those initial layers are ‘lost’ in the final piece, we think you’ll agree that they contribute a rich presence of depth and quality to the overall painting.

Helen consistently demonstrates the intricacies involved in creating abstract art, with her many beautiful pieces. She sets out with the intention of exploring something specific, juggling soft and organic shapes with geometric or controlled elements. Colour is the starting point of all her pieces, which are lovingly built upon overtime through sweeping gestural curves and forms. Her paintings are simply entrancing to look at, and her expertise is on hand for personal commissions through Turua gallery.

Helen's works starred in a 2022 joint show, "Presence in Absence", alongside sculptor John Allen. The paintings exhibited were part of the largest body of works Helen has ever created, and most of them were quickly (and understandably) snapped up!