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Pomegranate Eaters by Helen Flockhart

Today we look at Pomegranate Eaters by Helen Flockhart for Artwork in Focus. Join me Divvya Nirula as I explore and present my experience of the selected artwork.

Artwork in Focus

Title: Pomegranate Eaters
Artist : Helen Flockhart                
Year : 2001
Medium : oil on canvas
Dimensions : 50cm x 50cm

Pomegranate Eaters, 2001, by Helen Flockhart
Image Courtesy : Helen Flockhart

The Artwork

Helen Flockhart truly believes that art doesn’t have to be large to be powerful. She has been influenced in her work by several legendary and iconic figures. According to the artist when she was in her third year as a student, she was painting symbolist landscapes. As a part of her process, she worked en plein air – studying the surroundings and collecting visual imagery.

This had the impact of intensifying her relationship with the landscape. Gradually figures made their way onto her frames. The man in this painting is reflecting on the fruit while the other in the background has his eyes closed. He is pensive and meditative in the way he is approaching this activity.

Flockhart has worked at creating her own style and enhancing her own artistic vocabulary. From being more large and loosely based – her figures are more condensed and conveys a calm and unflinching directness to the viewer.

Helen has succeeded in creating this dialogue with her audience where she is able to convey something directly to her audience. Her work is more relatable. In her art one can see the blending of the portrait, landscape the realms of the mind. Fantastically verdant, they are homages to the genre of British myth making works on idyllic pastures, mountains, rivers, fields and Divinity.

Other Details

Apart from Klimt, Flockhart was also influenced by the 17th Century Dutch and Flemish painters and Rousseau. His impact is clearly visible in the way she constructs her art on the canvas, adding layers of impressions and ideas.

Flockhart’s fascination for the Polynesian sculptures, Greek and Roman reliefs is apparent in the way the faces from her imagination shape up. Not only limited to art school influences and ideas – she has drawn from her personal experiences – of knitting magazines she has seen as a child.  The patterns that stayed with her, embedded and not they are expressed. Flockhart says that all the images that she searched for and those that she found – all fed her vast image bank. From this collective they regularly seep out.

Flockhart accomplished her first-class undergraduate degree in painting at the Glasgow School of Art in 1984. Helen then took up postgraduate study with the British Council at the State Higher School of Fine Art in Poznan, Poland.


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