Helen Wilson


Born in Paisley in 1954, Wilson studied at Glasgow School of Art and graduated in 1976. Wilson has shown her work extensively throughout the U.K., holding solo exhibitions of her art at galleries including Thompson's Marylebone, London, Roger Billcliffe Fine Art, Glasgow and Sue Rankin Gallery, London. Wilson was elected Artist in Residence for both the Royal Ballet and Scottish Opera, both of which were met with great critical acclaim.


Wilson has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Scottish Portrait Award in Fine art, the David Cargill Award and the Garrick/Milne Commissioning Prize, through which she painted David Suchet in 2003. Wilson was elected as a member of the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts in 1984, the Royal Scottish Watercolour Society in 1997 and the Paisley Arts Institute in 2005. Wilson's work is held in multiple collections including those of the Glasgow Art Gallery, Paisley Museum and Art Gallery and the Royal. College of Physicians. Wilson's Chez Moi (2017) was acquired by Ruth Borchard Collection in 2017.

Wilson's work explores the capacity of paintings to capture personal histories.  As her Glasgow School of Art mentor, the artist John Cunningham has said of Wilson's work: 'Characteristically most of her work is based on the fragmentary and kaleidoscopic images which are relevant to some experience or other. The resulting work is descriptive and painterly - not merely illustrative… This exhibition is a most timely acknowledgement of her achievement and, more important, an expression of confidence and encouragement for the future where she is sure to discover many other sorts of rainbows.'

Wilson's self-portrait Chez Moi takes a watercolour paintbox as its canvas, depicting Wilson, in her painting apron, living within a box of paints. The paints within the box have been turned into storage units for external tokens of Wilson's self, books in one, pencils in another and a sculpted head in a third. Chez Moi connects selfhood and the tools of artistic creation, directly confronting the viewer with the building blocks of self-representation and recreation.