Helena McGrath studied a Foundation Course at St Albans College of Art followed by an Art History degree from Cambridge University. Following this, McGrath worked as a Script Editor and Producer in TV drama for ten years before returning to her first love, painting in 2005. McGrath then completed an MA in Fine Art at the University of Hertfordshire in 2017, where she became an Artist in Residence and is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Fine Art. McGrath has exhibited her work across the U.K, including at the St Alban's Museum and the University of Hertfordshire. Her self-portrait was acquired by Ruth Borchard Collection in 2011. McGrath's art has been shortlisted for the Gemini Prize and is currently shortlisted for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2020.
McGrath is a figurative painter. Her art explores the more poetic aspects of domestic life. McGrath's work seeks to combine an accessible narrative with abstract visual invention. McGrath likens her technique to that of Jackson Pollock and cites her key inspirations as Yves Klein, Gerard Richter, Barnett Newman and Joan Mitchell.
McGrath's Self-Portrait in oil on canvas moves away from her usual flair for abstraction, capturing the artist against a pure blue background, gazing out at her viewer, half shrouded in shadow.