Helen Forbes

Helen Forbes Melatlic Moonrise 76X61Cm 1950

Helen Forbes – Artist – Paintings

Artist’s statement

“I am interested in the concept that when we focus on a particular aspect of life, it comes into our field of vision and consciousness and becomes our reality.

My focus is on the largeness of life, of wholeness and equanimity. Using curved, angled, geometric shapes with beaten tin, textured paint, jute and kaolin clay, I attempt to harness these components into a harmonious “state of being”. I am fascinated to use these strongly physical, industrial elements to express the non-physical, blending these opposites to make a whole. The colours of indigo, charcoal, creams, whites and browns enhance the mood and surface of these works.”

Helen Forbes works in a studio in a converted woolstore in Fremantle. She has drawn and painted all her life and worked as a fabric designer and interior decorator before taking up painting full time.

She has a great love of drawing and has made many detailed drawings of birds and intricate nests which sometimes find their way into her more abstract works.

Helen has had 13 solo exhibitions and won the Cossack Contemporary and Abstract Art Awards in 2008 and 2005.   She has drawn and painted all her life as well as working as a freelance fabric designer and interior decorator where she  did all the working drawings and hand painted fabric and furniture.  She lives in the Brookton Valley and finds much inspiration in the indigenous birds and trees around her home.

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2009 Gadfly Gallery, Dalkeith
  • 2007 Elements Gallery, Subiaco
  • 2006 Mahoneys Galleries, Melbourne
  • 2006 Elements Gallery, Subiaco
  • 2005 Gadfly Gallery, Dalkeith
  • 1999 Perth Galleries, Subiaco
  • 1999 Narrogin Regional Gallery
  • 1998 Libby Edwards Galleries
  • 1996 Perth Galleries, Subiaco
  • 1995 Libby Edwards Galleries, Melbourne
  • 1994 Libby Edwards Galleries, Melbourne
  • 1982 Heyday Gallery, Prahran
  • 1981 Heyday Gallery, Prahran

Group Exhibitions

  • 2015-10 P.S.A.S Studios, Arq Design, JahRoc Gallery Margaret River
  • 2015-10 P.L.C. Annual Art Awards
  • 2014-02 Cossack Art Awards
  • 2013-07 Hale School Annual Art Exhibition
  • 2011-07 Artitude Telethon Speech and Hearing Exhibition
  • 2011-08 Mandurah Art Award
  • 2010-00 Mandorla Religious Art Award
  • 2007 Melville Art Show
  • 2007 Cossack Art Show
  • 2007 Elements Art Gallery, Subiaco 4 Painters
  • 2007 Artitude, Perth
  • 2007 Artists in Arms, Perth
  • 2006 Mahoneys Galleries, Melbourne/4 Painters
  • 2006 Elements Art Gallery, Subiaco/4 Painters
  • 2005 Heart Foundation Exhibition
  • 2005 Deckchair Theatre Fundraising Exhibition
  • 2003-05 Code Red Art Gallery
  • 2002-05 P.S.Studios/Gallery
  • 2004/02/00 Mandorla Art Award
  • 2004/03/02 Cossack Art Awards
  • 2002 Art of Refuge Exhibition, Moores Building
  • 2000/1999 St Hilda’s Annual Art Exhibition, Mosman Park
  • 1999 Hale School Annual Art Exhibition
  • 1997 Perth Galleries, Subiaco
  • 1995 Williams Art Awards, Williams

Awards and Commissions

  • 2008 Winner Cossack Art Award abstract/modern section
  • Numerous private commissions
  • Included in private collections in Europe USA and Australia
  • 2005 Winner/Cossack Contemporary Art Award
  • 2005 Highly Commended 9X5 Exhibition, Williams
  • 2005/04 Judge for Victoria Park Art Awards
  • 2004 Judge for Bayswater Art Awards
  • 1996 Best Local Artist, Williams Art Awards
  • 1997 Rockmans Regency Hotel Melbourne
  • 1998 Fabric Design for David Crowther/Melbourne
  • 1999 Fabric Design for Potpourri Prints/Melbourne featured in Australian Vogue Living
  • 2000 Fabric Design for Potpourri Prints/Melbourne featured in Belle Magazine
  • 2001 Fabric Design for Austfield Fabrics/Melbourne
  • 2002 Fabric Design for Potpourri Prints/Melbourne


  • 1949-61 Presbyterian Ladies College
  • 1962-66 Diploma Fine Arts Perth Technical College