Photos from Meet the Artists, and Body Swap; Moments at Bowery

Saturday 27th February was the opening of the Moments exhibition at Bowery, Leeds. Artists Rachel Johns, Elizabeth Nast and myself held a Meet the Artists event, in celebration.

Thanks to everyone who came to see us, it was great!

Rachel at meet the artists
Rachel at Meet the Artists, in front of her drawings.
Liz at meet the artists
Elizabeth, working in her sketchbook, in front of her paintings
Helen with her paintings
Me with my paintings – photo by Rachel Johns


We also held a Body Swap event on Monday 29th February. All three of us swapped artistic roles for the day, and followed instructions given to us by one another, regarding our normal routines for making art. I was Elizabeth Nast, Elizabeth was Rachel Johns, and Rachel was me! Throughout the day we tweeted and Instagrammed our experiences using #momentsbowery

setting up for body swap
Setting up for the Body Swap


As well as being a really fun thing to try out, it gave us a greater appreciation of each others’ work and techniques. It was a challenge to force one’s self into a different way of working and the results were interesting.



We all spoke of the fear we each had had prior to the experiment, that the other ‘imposter’ artist might be better at making our work than ourselves! But ultimately, we found that there are very personal decisions taking place when an artist decides how to work.  You can try and pretend to be someone, but if the work is not true to what you value and what you want to express, then it isn’t really a true statement of your intent, and perhaps that is what makes a ‘real’ piece of art, after all.


Helen, working as E Nast
Helen at work as Elizabeth – photo by Rachel Johns
Liz at work as Rachel
Elizabeth at work as Rachel

With regards to the theme of the exhibition, Moments – we all three are connected in the way that we have used fleeting experiences and attempted to solidify them in artworks.

Elizabeth takes candid street photos of members of the public doing ordinary things, and turns them into exquisite watercolour paintings in fantastic, ornate gilt frames. She shows us that we ought to appreciate the seemingly banal events that make us part of the human race.

Rachel has painted incredibly expressive ink drawings that reflect her inner emotions at specific times on a calendar. These feelings pass and then become something else, but the drawing remains as a marker from that time.

I am exhibiting six paintings; three of  which express the romantic melancholy and intimacy of a young (goth/punk/new wave) woman’s bedroom, and three contrasting works, that look at the excitement and sweaty euphoria of a rave. These experiences of being young and being consumed by music are common to many of us, and can shape how we grow as adults, causing us to look back with nostalgia and idealism for our youth.

Rachel body swap
Rachel with her ‘Helen Dryden’ style painting, in front of her own work.
Helen body swap
Helen holding her ‘Liz Nast-esque’ watercolour, in front of her own painting. Photo by Elizabeth Nast.
Liz body swap
Liz’s expressive stick drawing, a la Rachel Johns, in front of her own watercolours.


Moments continues at the Bowery until May 13th 2016.




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