Primal Views

Joe Helmore

Exhibition: 10 - 24 November 2020

“I’ve been thinking about humans as a species and how much of what we do is instinctual. Art seems to be something we’re naturally drawn to, however I am unsure why from a survival perspective.  I wanted to create works that stir up some of our primal instincts.”

– Joe Helmore

In this latest body of work from Joe Helmore, notions of human instinct are explored through large-scale paintings featuring wild animals and untamed landscapes.

Helmore’s animal paintings draw on the consciousness of each creature, “the being inside the beast”, focusing on evocative and emotional connectivity, achieved through his deft use of ‘the gaze’. The result is an unspoken dialogue between viewer and subject, an invitation to engage with our primal and humanistic connections to art, and through his vast landscapes, the natural environment.

While Helmore takes inspiration from a childhood spent in the Hawke’s Bay region with works that feature familiar landmarks such as Cape Kidnappers and Te Motu-o-Kura (Bare Island), other compositions are set against dreamlike paths and imagined vistas. Working in both oil and acrylic with a sensitively applied palette and thoughtful mark-making, Helmore’s surreal and beguiling imagery draws the eye and captivates.

In Primal Views, Helmore invites us to join him in drawing tacit comparisons and parallels between human and beast. Each distinctive painting a unique response to his questioning of human instinct.