The Artist

About Charley Hellier

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Charley is an artist based in York, UK, working primarily in oils and acrylics. Her work is informed and inspired by a combination of artistic pursuits: she has been a filmmaker and animator and is still a performing musician.

She was born in Exeter, Devon in 1981, but soon moved to Tyldesley, near Wigan, Lancashire, where she spent most of her childhood. Art, literature and music were always important to her.

In 2000, Charley 'defected' to Yorkshire, heading for Leeds to study English and Philosophy. Without much of a clue about what to do with that, she found work as a casino croupier and saved to do a second degree in Film and Moving Image production. She felt that film was the combination of all her creative passions, so she could finally settle on something and focus. She made some experimental little short films, a couple of which were even nominated for awards, and then went on to have a successful career in post production for film and television, as a visual effects compositor, editor, colourist and graphic artist. In 2016, she and her partner had a daughter and Charley took a step back from the television industry. However, this left a huge creative void, which she filled first with furious knitting and then finally painting. Coming back to painting after a break of so many years, she realised that it had always been painting that she wanted to do. She had done it all the way through her childhood and school and then into her student years, when she'd been painting large cubist murals on the walls of student accommodation. She felt a strong yearning to come away from the world of the digital and back to physical art.

Leeds had been her home for twenty years, until she and her family moved to York in 2020. The landscape of Yorkshire, particularly the North York Moors, now not so far away, has become a constant influence in her paintings, which also benefit from the huge detour she took to get back to her art. Through literature, folklore and Anglo Saxon stories, through philosophy, through early and modern music, through history, through filmmaking, graphics and visual effects, colourist work and back to her wood panels: her preferred surface to paint upon.

Charley has exhibited at Created In York last year, Art Unlimited (Dorset) this year and has worked on commissions. In the past, she has been engaged by a choir to design their concert posters, has produced artwork for albums and bands and for a wedding.