Helen Napper instinctively seeks out waves. She swims in the sea daily and yearns for it when she’s inland, drawn back to its perversity and perpetual motion. Consider the seascapes in this exhibition. A small bay fizzes with frilly white waves on an ultramarine Atlantic Ocean, the sky is cobalt, the land burnt umber – but turn away for a moment and the beach has become apricot or deep red, a new heart-shaped tidal pool has appeared, the ocean has turned dark emerald, the waves are breaking over the lip of the bay.
The habitual swimmer’s vigilante vision transfers to the studio. The crinkly pattern on discarded twin-pots of yoghurt and the erratic marks and glued-together cracks on a favourite old bowl catch the eye like the movement of the waves in that bay.
She is a conduit for these colours and forms, freeing them with loving and precise strokes. In the process, these compositions move in and out of abstraction. Seascapes become colour equations. Waves become thought waves.