Helen was born in Cork in 1963. At the age of 17 she was awarded a scholarship to Crawford College of Art in Cork but due to family commitments this was not to be and so she began working in administration which continued for the next 20 years, this included 3 years in Australia. In this time her own family came along, but her love for art was constantly being revived by sketching, painting, life drawing and photography.
In 2003 she began a two year foundation course in art in Stiofain Naofa, Cork City which led to her applying to Crawford College for a Honours Degree in Fine Art and in 2005 she realised her dream and began studying in Crawford.
Graduating in 2010 with an Honours Degree she began her career in earnest. For the past six years she has had a studio in the Backwater Artists Studio complex in Wandesford Quay. Helen is also a member of Cork Printmakers which is also located in the same complex.
Her love of West Cork is evident in her work, she captures the ever present kaleidoscope of colour that is this part of the world. Memory is a re-occuring theme in her work. Her family connections extends back over generations. Her great grandmother hails from Horse Island off this coast and her grandmother hails from Schull - a place very close to her heart. Off the coast of Schull is Long Island, this place in particular has influenced her work - she has many bodies of work with this Island as its inspiration.
"As a child I would look over to Long Island from Colla and see these white cottages almost on the horizon, and to me they were like little dolls houses. I would try and imagine the families who had lived, and still lived, in them."
This island, now numbering 6, was once home to 300 people. The small identical cottages dot this long, low lying island - most of which are now empty. These derelict cottages lay witness to the many lives which began in this beautiful place, its many people now living locally and also around the globe. Layers of many different colour paint peel away from interiors and exteriors, testament to the years lived within.
Helen now lives her dream, surrounding herself for many years with the vibrant environment that is West Cork - its land, sea and islands - the result is her work.
- Eli Lilly Prize Cork Printmakers Exhibition 2013
- Office of Public WorksPrize CCAD Degree Show 2010
- Eli Lilly Prize CCAD Degree Show 2010
2017 Group Show - Cork Printmakers, Cork - December
2017 Group Christmas Show - Blue House Gallery, Schull - December
2017 'Islands' - Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork - June
2017 'Elsewhere' - Elizabeth Fort, Cork City. (Selected) - April
2016 Group Show - Organico, Bantry, Co. Cork - December
2016 Group Show - Cork Printmakers Christmas Exhibition, Cork - December
2016 Group Show - Aisling Gallery, Ballydehob, Co. Cork - September
2016 Upstairs @ Blue House Gallery, Schull - Helen O'Keeffe/Catherine Weld - August
2016 'History' - Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork- March
2016 Lavit Gallery - Selected, Members Group Exhibition
2015 'Silver, Part 3', Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibereen, Co. Cork - November - Selected
2015 'Small Works' Lavit Gallery, Cork - October
2015 'Silver, Part 2' Garter Lane Gallery, Waterford - October (selected)
2015 Featured Artist, Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork - August
2015 Morgan O'Driscoll Online Art Auction - August
2015 'Maritime', Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork - July
2015 Silver, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork Group Show
2014 Stellar, Cork Printmakers Members Annual Exhibition, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork
2014 Group Christmas Show, Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork
2014 'Postcards from North & South, Simultaneous Exhibition between Cork Printmakers, Firestation Print Studio, Victoria, Australia and PressNorth Printmakers, North Queensland, Australia
2014 70.8%, The Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork - Two Person Show with Keith Payne
2014 BAG 2014, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork - Annual Show
2014 The Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork - Group Show
2014 Lavit Gallery - Selected, Members Group Exhibition.
2013 'Nova', Cork Printmakers, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork
2013 The Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork - Group Exhibition
2013 Grainstore Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork - Group Exhibition
2013 Lavit Gallery - Selected, Members Group Exhibition
2012 'Art in Schull', Group Exhibition
2012 Lavit Gallery – Selected, Members Group Exhibition
2011 Art Work Embassy, The Elysian, Cork
2011 Place/Space – Selected, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork
2011 Drawing Connections, Sienna Art Institute, Italy - Selected
2011 Brown Thomas ‘Art in Fashion’ May/June – Selected Artists
2010 Clyne Gallery, Templebar, Dublin - Gallery Artists show
2010 RDS Student Awards Exhibition Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo – November
2010 RDS Student Awards ExhibitionIsland Arts Centre, Lisburn Northern Ireland –September
2010 RDS Student Awards Exhibition RDS, Dublin - August
2010 Fractals – Degree Show, CIT Crawford College of Art and Design
2010 Look and See – An exhibition of four final year students from CCAD
2007 Christmas Show, Lavit Gallery, Cork
2007 Fledglings Show, Lavit Gallery, Cork – An exhibition of chosen emerging artists
2014 'Lollipop Trees' Mono Screenprint Exhibition, Cork Printmakers, Wandesford Quay, Cork
2013 'As I See It' Backwater Studios, Wandesford Quay, Cork
2013 'A Sense of Place' The Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork
Helen's work is displayed in The Office of Public Works, Ireland, Eli Lily, S.A. as well as in private and corporate collections in Ireland, England, United States and Germany.