Pairings Exhibition May 2021 – Annexe Gallery


This Exhibition is about placing work from my archive in dialogue with a series of new additions, following a loose theme, “ Spots.”
Pairings is the inaugural show in the new Annexe Gallery and also the first for the new concept of using a Gallery space.
The artwork will be on display from Tuesday 4th May to Saturday 29th May 2021 in the Annexe Gallery, 611 Wynnum Road, Morningside.
One of the new innovations is to enable a buyer to take the picture home on purchase. (I would be happy to end the month with blank walls)!
Another first is offering work unframed. Because the Gallery is attached to a picture framer, Morningside Picture Framers, the purchaser has the option of choosing their own frame.
Following is a full catalogue of the whole exhibition. My research shows buyers want make the initial contact online , read all the details, decide what to come and see , at a time that suits.
I will not be at the Gallery full time, but there is access Tuesday to Friday, 10-4 and Saturday 10-2. , through the Picture Framing Shop, Shop 6/611 Wynnum Road Morningside. Brett can accomodate sales on my behalf. There is parking front and rear of the shop.
You can contact me via email at I will put my roster up on Instagram and Facebook. Look forward to seeing you there, I’m really excited about the direction my art has taken this year, Helen

Artist Statement

The Iconlady shape began in the 1970s and now acts as the jumping in point for me when I have new ideas. The Iconlady has taken on meanings and symbolism I couldn’t have imagined back then.
Of course, over time, the pictures have become portraits of my life representing various stages, trends and fashion of the time. When I present paintings of the Iconlady she is recognized as an archetypal female form, provoking maternal emotions. There are religious and historical layers to her. The viewer always attributes their own experience and knowledge to the pictures, often overriding the original intent. I have realized purchasers always rename the pictures, something personal to themselves. I love this fluidity of the Iconlady. When I make each Iconlady I am searching for beauty, design, pattern and story.
Each one represents a particular trend, or popular movement, that is happening in the contemporary visual culture at present. I am honoring the trends and fashions of our ephemeral visual practice. I am recording the history and ideas of the present.We have travelled far, the Iconlady and I. I haven’t finished the journey yet, there is a lot still to explore.
“There is alway a mysterious gap between intention and interpretation, and such is the beauty of communication” – Thaneeya.


Ensemble measures 1022×30. Price $ 3500,00. Height 110cm width 30cm.  Wood, marine paint, acrylic paint.

Lets start our journey.
How far is it?
Is that a wall?
Can’t we stop here?
What do they want with us?
I’m hungry.
Are we there yet?
What’s on the horizon?
Is that the border?
I’ll go if you will.
It may be better on the other side.
Will they want us?
What is waiting for us out there?
Be brave, go!
Where will we sleep?
Everyone is frightened of us.
We don’t feel safe.
We must stay together.
As fast as the slowest.
The design of the figures was informed by doll and traditional figures from various countries and cultures. “Travellers” reflects what is happening in our world. Largely ignored in Australia, sympathy is engendered by terrible pictures, such as the dead child washed ashore, and then put aside in our minds. The movement of people is profound and has lasting implications for the future of our children.
I realised these travelling people were joining up and forming loose groups with others for safety , and not all the children in the group belonged to the adults they are with.
As a social study it is interesting, humans from every country and race behave in predictable ways and are moving in the one direction for the same reason.
The Travellers for me is a personal comment on what I learn from our media, and I realise I can not imagine being in their place and struggle. I wish to reflect on the stable and happy life we have here and gently point out it’s not everyone’s privilege.


$900, Framed Size 76x67cm

Shibori, feathers, machine stitching on heavy rag paper.





$900.00 Framed Size 76x67cm.  Indigo, handmade papers. Lace and ribbon. Acrylic paint, pen. Machine stitched on heavy rag paper.

The folded papers were dipped in an Indigo vat. The background wash is also Indigo. Shibori has been taken up by many contemporary artists at present. The color range and techniques, while limited, are exciting to work with. There are antique rules to Shibori, waiting to pushed and broken. I think this will be a trend, like patchwork, that will settle into its own place and remain beside the mainstream. At present in the fickle commercial world of fashion and home wares the influence of Indigo and Shibori is evident.


$900.00 Framed Size 57x77cm

Satin, velvet ribbon. Pen, net, paint, machine and hand stitching on heavy rag paper.

I am interested in new products. Laser printing brought us wonderful florals, clarity, colour and even reproduction of paintings onto fabric for domestic use. The Iconlady is my excuse to celebrate luscious fabrics and colour.



$900.00 Framed. Size 57x77cm

Satin, lace, pen, velvet ribbon, collage, machine and hand stitching.

Again, the mystery! The vibrant green was a joy to work with, it’s surprising in that it will coordinate with all colour schemes.



$900.00 Framed Size 57x77cm.  Hot pink velvet, net, satin ribbon, feather, machine stitching, on heavy cotton fabric.

Layers of fabric, layers of meaning and layers of textile experience to make this Iconlady. Reminiscent of a women’s hail spot veil on a little hat. The lady is fully dressed, but, there are spots of vulnerability and areas of nakedness.



$900.00 size Framed 57x77cm

Cotton fabric , machine stitched on heavy rag paper. Satin ribbon, fabric pen.

I fell in love with this fabric, bold and modern, and timeless. The stripes overlap to give the picture shadows and depth. The fabric allowed me to create a strong design with purpose .



$900.00 Framed Size 57x77cm

Cotton fabric, machine stitched on heavy rag paper.

Again a strong print, following current fashion trends. The spot can be empty spaces or portals. This Iconlady needed to be ambiguous, it’s the mystery the shape commands.



$900.00 Framed Size 57x77cm

Hot pink velvet, black velvet , machine stitched on heavy cotton.

I love the pink velvet, ( it’s a bright hot pink in reality) it’s lush. Again, the mystery of portals , or closed doors? Strong line softened by the raw edges. There is no doubt here that the Iconlady is female.



$ 900 Framed Size 76x 67cm

Acrylic paint, pen, on heavy rag paper




Framed Size 38x49cm

Velvet, lace, sequins, plastics doll face, net ribbon, cotton, machine stitched.

These doll faces were readily available in Australia in the 1960s, for a few cents each. They were made for craft workers to make homemade fabric dolls, often stuffed with cut up rag. So much one could say about this! I will let the picture offer up it’s own analysis, while it is important to keep in mind the era the face came from.



Size Framed 38x49cm

Pressed cloth face. Vintage fabric, Battenberg lace, vintage ribbon, machine stitched, button.

These pressed cloth doll faces were a wartime answer for doll makers. Some were made in Australia in backyard workshops, often pressed by men and painted by his wife. There are patterns for the dolls body, an all in one shape with a pixie hat. Often made from cretonne and stuffed with cut up rag or kapok. This kind of doll was made with love and care and became much loved toys.



Size 59x85cm

Collage Iconlady….painted paper, found papers, pen, paint.

Inspired by a mosaic Iconlady I made, on wood, using broken China and beads. Reflecting the current thinking about gender diversity and acceptance. Perhaps my favourite piece, I enjoyed bringing this work to completion.



$650.00 Unframed Size 59×76

Acrylic paint on heavy rag paper, pen.

I just had to paint this card of buttons. The object itself was so tactile, perfectly designed and so relevant to my textile practice. It’s a calm a meditative picture.


Unframed Size 59×76 cm

Handmade wool felt, gold foil, paper paint, pen, machine freehand stitching, collage , on heavy rag paper.

Felting has become popular and is practiced widely across Australia, with various results, from coarse to refined, from basic technique to more complicated processes. I particularly wanted to record this trend . Felting seems destined to become like quilting, it will remain with us .
I see two options for framing this work, full picture, or cropped , below the hands. Come to the Annex Gallery and see what you prefer.



$250.00 EACH. Unframed. Size 38x56cm

Crayon, pastel, ink, heavy rag paper.

Not necessarily a pair, these decorative pieces are about enjoying colour. I have included them in this display for a couple of reasons. They are smaller. Each is an example of the Iconlady in her most simple form and the colour will match any decor. I think they cover territory from children to sophisticated decorating.
Spotsyellow and Spotsblack



$600.00 Unframed Size 59x76cm

Heavy rag paper, paint, pencil.

French fabrics patterns from the 18th century.
The Iconlady is a vessel for this exploration of early “calico” designs.
The patterns are timeless.



$600.00 Unframed Size 59x76cm

Heavy rag paper, paint, pen

The theme of overlaying the Iconlady with all these stories in pattern creates its own story. I do like to layer and add a bit of mystery.



$900.00 Framed Size 76x67cm

Acrylic on heavy rag paper, pen and pencil.

In keeping with my philosophy of using Theiconlady to record fashions and trends of the moment, lead me to paint the High Tea Iconlady.
I consciously used a nostalgic colour palette to evoke the retro look of the fifties. I remember most of the cakes pictured, my Mother and Aunts were wonderful cooks. And, we did use tiered cake plates as a matter of course. So everything in this picture is familiar to me. The Freudian aspects are for the viewer to work out, but I will say, I did enjoy painting this picture.
Hightea – SOLD



TWO FIGURES $250.00 Canvas Unframed.

Acrylic paint, modelling paste, canvas on frame.

Deception, delusion, figment of the imagination, Iconladys.
This quote of Malevitch, “ in which hides mystery” was my starting point for taking the simple shape of The Iconlady and painting pictures of meaning , mystery and power. The dense colour provokes a response and Two Figures is almost hallucinatory.



Set of three. $600.00 Canvas Unframed Size 51x56cm

Acrylic paint , modelling paste, canvas on frame.

Shadowselves, set of three
The set of three become one powerful image . The Iconlady shape is almost inessential in these pictures, as is the case with Two Figures. The shape becomes many things , including a “ keyhole” , a portal, to some, even a religious shape.
The dense colour then becomes important.
Red… Titian , blood, the colour of Old Masters or Russian Icons?
White…clean, immaculate, pure or unsullied?
Black…raven, foreboding, mournful, ominous, threatening, or witchcraft?
The texture is important too, part of the substance of the work, softening the edges and allowing the viewer into a not so perfect world.
Pictures for reflection with hidden depth.