Helen Clarke

Meet Helen. After walking away from a career in IT, Helen pursued her lifelong passion and became an artist. She has just moved into her own studio and has several exhibitions planned.

Read more stories Art, design and fashion
Current job roleArtist
Year of graduation2020
Course of studyBA (Hons) Fine Art
A picture of Helen Clarke

Anything is possible

Helen walked away from a career in IT to have children, and as they approached school-age she decided to pursue her lifelong passion – art.

Helen says, ‘Herts was the perfect place for me to study art. I could commute and study there during school hours, they have superb facilities, and they foster a culture where you feel anything is possible.’

Helen believes Herts encouraged her to explore who she is as an artist, and she was able to learn skills across different media. One highlight for Helen was being able to share her art as a second-year student in the University’s Art and Design building, where there is designated exhibit space. Helen says, ‘That venue has hosted many high-profile exhibitions and talented artists, so to get the opportunity to curate and exhibit in that space was wonderful.’

During her studies Helen also became friends with many of her course mates, who she continues to keep in touch with.

Fulfilling her dream

Helen has just finished a master’s course, and after seven years of studying she has been able to fulfil her dream of becoming an artist. Helen has recently moved into a studio in London and is looking forward to start tutoring young artists, helping them develop their own portfolios.

In 2023, Helen was one of 55 artists selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries, an internationally renowned exhibition held in Blackpool and London.

Helen’s advice

Helen’s advice for those looking to follow in her footsteps is to, ‘Make the most of what’s available at Herts. Some of the most valuable activities I took part in were workshops, and the cross-school and programme events. They gave me the opportunity to meet other students, and the conversations we had and the ideas we came up with together were exciting. Also, remember to use the expertise available to you, including the technical staff. Everyone is very knowledgeable!’

‘The final year of the programme is where you reflect and learn from your past few years and create something for the School of Creative Arts’ Graduate Degree Show. It’s your chance to be bold, experiment, and push yourself. But most importantly, remember to enjoy the experience!’