Let’s continue celebrating Northern artists with one of the most collected and loved for her storytelling ability, Helen Bradley.
Helen Bradley was an English artist, known for her paintings that typically depict life in Lancashire in the Edwardian era. This led to the artist being known today as one of the greatest storytellers of the 20th Century, with her intricate narrative paintings. Born in November in 1900 in Lees, near Oldham, Lancashire Helen Bradley was always interested in art throughout her life, however, it was not until Bradley was in her sixties and her grandchildren began asking what life was like when she was a child that she began to paint.
Bradley’s paintings tend to feature the same recognisable characters, with her early works typically depicting Helen herself along with George, her younger brother, their mother, her three maiden aunts, the eligible bachelor Mr. Taylor, the Bank manager and their family fried Miss Carter-who wore pink. These early works tell tales of holidays to Blackpool, walking in Salford’s Peel Park or other leisurely activities such as shopping in Oldham. These Narrative paintings were first exhibited at The Saddleworth Art Society in 1965, followed by a London Exhibition in 1966 and a sell-out exhibition at the appropriately named Carter Gallery in Los Angeles in 1968. From thence onwards, Bradley achieved international celebrity.
Notably, whilst in London, Bradley met L.S Lowry who encouraged Bradley to draw from her personal experiences and childhood, expressing her memories in a somewhat naïve painterly style. As a result, her two-dimensional scenes that are richly coloured with a somewhat decorative appearance are perfectly suited to their narrative function. The Short Way Home from Great Aunt Buckley’s is an enchanting painting that is a fine example of Helen Bradley’s ever-popular narrative scenes.
“We were caught in an April shower as we made our way across some spare ground on our way to visit Great Aunt Buckley. People ran to get their washing in, but no sooner had they started to unpeg it when the rain ceased. Mother, Aunt Charlotte, Grandma and Aunt Mary had their umbrellas up, so they did not see what George and I saw coming towards us, but Miss Carter (who wore Pink) did and called, ‘Jane, look at those cows, they’ve got loose from Coopers Slaughterhouse and they’re coming this way’. A woman called to us to come into her home for safety and the year was 1906.”
‘The Short Way Home from Great Aunt Buckley’s’ is here for you to view in Broadway.
Broadway is alive again, buzzing with the hum of visitors here appreciating the beautiful architecture, stonework and wonderful diversity of shops and restaurants which make this pocket in the Cotswolds so very celebrated.
We very much look forward to sharing our beautiful galleries here with you, do come and join us for a glass of summer fizz.
‘The Short Way Home from Great Aunt Buckley’s, 1906’ by Helen Bradley.
Oil on canvas laid on board
Art For Sale Cotswolds