Featured Artist Helen Dearnley

Inspired by a music video, Helen Dearnley created an art career in various media. Find out more about her work by visiting her website.



Helen Dearnley grew up in the 1980s in Lincolnshire, graduating in 2008 BA (hons) Fine Art & Illustration, and bases her practice in the Cathedral city of Lincoln.

A huge fan of the Norwegian band A-ha, Helen was inspired to become an artist due to their iconic 1986 music video Take On Me. She returned to University later in life as a mature student. The blackbird became the artist’s signature, representing the liminal realm between dreams and waking life.




A series of coincidences that occurred at the time turned Helen’s world into an existential excerpt from Waking Life or Take On Me itself.

Helen’s work explores the liminal realm between the imaginary and reality, our Waking Life, sometimes re-appropriating imagery from A-ha’s comic world and conflating philosophies and creating a discourse between the theories of Jean Baudrillard, Borges, Dostoyevsky, the writings of Philip K Dick, Richard Linklater films, multiverse theory, spiritual, existential and serendipitous experiences.


poster art


Collaborative work with artist and musician Magne Furuholmen has solidified a strong doll theme that also runs throughout Helen’s practice as both a fine artist, illustrator and animator, and she continues to develop and explore a wide variety of media according to the project.


handmade doll "Lady of Shalott" by Helen  Dearnley


As an illustrator, Helen works with poster designs, editorial illustrations, greetings cards, prints, publishing commissions for books, comics and graphic novels, and the music industry, and possesses a wealth of experience using software such as Photoshop, After Effects, alongside traditional techniques in painting, drawing and printmaking etc.


Illustrated portrait by Helen Dearnley


In 2009 she was chosen as a plinther for Antony Gormley’s One & Other The Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, which is now archived in the British Library.


"Lincolnshire Sausages" by Helen Dearnley

Helen has exhibited in Norway, Lincoln, London, Italy, Nottingham, St. Louis, and Berlin.



  1. ‘take on me’ and ‘waking life’ are two of my altime favorite video/ films of all times, perhaps because I too grew up in the 80’s as well. I like how this artist takes inspiration from one media & translates it to a other.

    Thanks for introducing her to you readers.

Speak Your Mind