Helen Eager | Intersections

It’s hard not to get excited when Helen Eager talks about Abstraction. Whilst many are baffled by its enigmatic forms, there is something about Eager’s exploration of light and colour that catches the eye and holds your attention. In an essay for her latest exhibition 'Intersections', Eager reveals the 'rules' and passionate drive that makes her practice tick.


Practicing since she was 17, Eager describes her practice as in a constant process of reworking, which has gradually evolved into an exploration of pure abstraction. Reaching this turning point around twenty years ago, Eager states, “I shifted thinking and made the move towards pure abstraction. I focused in on objects to the point that they no longer required a starting point in the external world. Shape and line, colour and light, became the subjects”.

It sounds simple enough, however competing for recognition alongside the established lineage of representational ‘realist’ art in Australia has demanded a committed focus on the long game from Eager.

Playing with space, colour, shape, light and emptiness and the multitude of interconnections that can be built between them is what excites Eager’s practice. Emerging from this the triangle has been a constant motif, a vehicle, as Eager states, “to express light’s intensity and colour’s vitality. It has specific precision, logic, regularity”.

In her essay regarding her latest exhibition Intersections, Eager invites the viewer into the rules of her abstraction. Commenting on the framework that guided her latest series, Eager states,

“In all my work there are rules. For Intersections I set these rules: there would be just five strong colours in each paint­ing; the five colours of each painting could not touch more than once; the form and the central triangles would work a certain way on each canvas.”

However if it was just simple logic, based on standard rules it wouldn’t be abstraction. Eager notes, “But whatever the internal logic (or rules), they are only important for the making, for the creating, not for what the painting becomes”.

The result? The long game has paid off. Distinctly unique and vibrant works, which pulse or shimmer with rhythmic colour have erupted into the space of Utopia Art. However don’t let our interpretation influence you, head along to the gallery and see the latest progression of Helen Eager’s exploration of colour and light.

Too view the full exhibition online, see Helen Eager’s e-catalogue here.

Helen Eager | Intersections
5 – 26 September 2015
Utopia Art Sydney

Image: Helen Eager’s studio
Courtesy the artist and Utopia Art Sydney

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