Helen Gauchat’s still life works are a testament to the unity that comes from being engaged in every level of the production of a painting. Gauchat’s quietly intimate yet dynamic paintings, depicting the ceramics she has created, draw on both Eastern and Western sensibilities and belie a deep and all-encompassing understanding of her subject. At the heart of these paintings is a confident, curious and responsive gesture and an openness to chance perhaps best defined by the Japanese tea ceremony aesthetic of wabi-sabi wherein perfection is sought through imperfection. Gauchat’s exquisitely arranged tableaus of utilitarian vessels contain a subtle tension between a sense of ceremonial stability countered by one of schism and possibility. Responding fluidly to the idiosyncrasies of each object and the relations between them, Gauchat draws on a broad language of mark making and materials ranging from watercolour, to acrylic, oil, ink and gesso, to make understated but buoyant paintings of great integrity.
In 2003 Helen completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the National Art School, Darlinghurst followed by an Honours year at COFA, UNSW. Whilst at COFA Helen visited Fowler’s Gap, a University research station in Broken Hill, which had a profound influence on her work.
Helen has exhibited in a number of group shows in Australia and overseas. In 2010 Defiance Gallery held Helen's first solo show in Sydney. She has recently been selected as a finalist in The Mosman Art Prize, The Redlands Art Prize and won the Fishers Ghost Prize for works on paper. Helen works predominantly in her studio in the Southern Highlands.