East Yorkshire coastline inspires new exhibition

A science teacher who combines the laws of physics with her love for the East Yorkshire coast to create stunning works of art has opened an exhibition at Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC).

And this is no ordinary exhibition as Helen Costello’s oil and acrylic paintings, featuring the seascapes and seabirds of the East Yorkshire coast, carries an important conservation message.

The free studio exhibition, entitled Whose World Is It? will run at PAC from now until Thursday 28 March.

As both a retired science teacher and fine art graduate, Helen prides herself on putting paid to the idea that a knowledge of science destroys beauty.

“There is a commonly held view that a knowledge of science somehow destroys the beauty. On the contrary, it enhances it. Both start with observation of the natural world.”

“Physics strives to find truth to help understand things and art is a consideration and appreciation of their beauty,” she said.

Helen takes her inspiration from the seascapes, landscapes and seabirds of the East Yorkshire coast, notably those surrounding her home in Sewerby, Bridlington.

“Observation inspires my work, for example watching seabirds soar and bank on the updraft from Bempton, or being aware of the tranquil beauty from the beach,” she said.

As a Leeds University physics graduate Helen combined a successful teaching career with studying fine art part-time, eventually gaining a formal qualification in fine art from Durham University after several years of attending evening classes, weekend and summer schools.

Helen was head of science at a comprehensive school before returning to Durham University to study visual arts, but retained her love of science, using her knowledge as a key creative tool, and striving to find the right balance.

“To contemplate the natural world is to restore the soul. The act of painting is therapeutic, switching off the busy rational left side of the brain and releasing the creative right side,” she said.

“I hope visitors will pause to consider the drastic reduction in seabirds and how this affects our coastal region,” she added.

Helen has exhibited her work at numerous venues and events across the region including North Yorkshire Open Studios, East Yorkshire Open Studios, and Beverley Art Gallery Open Exhibition.

Janet Farmer, PAC director, said: “Helen Costello’s paintings are truly breath-taking, and it is no exaggeration to say that they look absolutely stunning in PAC’s studio, bring the space to life with their colour and light.

“Helen’s work has featured in exhibitions at PAC on two previous occasions, as part of East Yorkshire Open Studios, so it is a real pleasure to welcome her back to the arts centre with such a wonderful collection of work.”

Entry to Whose World Is It? is free, during opening hours only. For further information about PAC’s exhibitions, and for opening times, visit www.pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk