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Please click on each image to see the full artwork.

Daddy Painter, 2019, oil, charcoal and chalk on paper

Steady as a Boulder, 2018, water-based tempera, charcoal and chalk on paper

Helena McGrath’s paintings explore the apparent banalities of domestic suburban life and her dual role as mother and artist, informed by a range of material including: found photographs, art historical sources, popular culture and text.

Daddy Painter explores the parenthood of Lucian Freud, who acknowledged 14 children as his own but was estimated to have nearer 40 offspring. This painting satirises the notion of the male genius and Freud’s approach to art and Fatherhood.

Steady as a Boulder explores the artist’s relationship with Finland. The text is taken from the Finnish epic poem The Kalevala.

Helena McGrath

After a Foundation Course at St Albans College of Art, Helena McGrath studied Art History at Cambridge University.  She then worked in television drama as a script editor and producer for ten years before returning to painting in 2005.  McGrath’s paintings were shortlisted for the Gemini Prize and The Ruth Borchard Prize. In 2017 she completed an MA in Fine Art at the University of Hertfordshire gaining a Distinction. In 2018 McGrath exhibited her work at The Pavillion Gallery, Chenies Manor. Later that year she was an AA2A artist in residence at the University of Hertfordshire where she exhibited a series of paintings entitled "Aidinmaa" (Motherland), exploring her relationship to Finland. Six of those paintings were exhibited at the IOFestival in St Albans in July 2019. McGrath is currently a Visiting Lecturer on the Fine Art MA at University of Hertfordshire.

Hertfordshire Open 2020

This artwork was selected for the first Hertfordshire Open Exhibition. The exhibition online galleries are hosted between and and will be launched in stages throughout April 2020.

Over 180 artists with links to Hertfordshire submitted their work to be part of the inaugural exhibition. Chosen by an independent panel of judges, the exhibition features 80 stunning works by the 50 selected artists, creating an exciting mix of work by established artists alongside emerging talent and first-time exhibitors.

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