Helen McGhie

Fitting Rooms
Ashley House


Contact / Social Media







October 2018: Field/s ONE, Traces, 209 Women & summer exhibitions
It's been a busy few months! Over the summer, it was fantastic to exhibit work at <The Scrap> (Seoul) and part of Shutter Hub's Because We Can (Festival Pil’ours, Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, France), I'm now preparing work for Traces, curated by Beth Troakes (Artrooms, Seoul), for Field/s ONE (Sluice_ Gallery, London) and for the 209 Women exhibition, opening in UK Parliament in December 2018 and Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool) in 2019.

Image (right): Wanderer, Helen McGhie (2018)


May 2018: Madam & Eve: Women Portraying Women (Laurence King Publishing, London)
My photograph Cavity has been included in this new publication by Liz Rideal and Kathleen Soriano (page 121)

'Alongside our twenty-first century prejudices against aged women and sagging flesh, the work Cavity from the series '(M)other' by Helen McGhie (b. 1987) brings the lack of elasticity of old flesh sharply into the limelight. The tonal modulation transforms what one assumes to be the folds of skin on the back into a craggy landscape that, thanks partly to its title, is also suggestive of a vagina." - p.120

"How do women paint or photograph each other? How do they represent each other in performance or sculpture? As mothers or heroines? With tenderness, aggression or respect? Madam & Eve explores the female gaze as it focuses on other women. The authors - an artist and a curator - investigate the work of over 200 artists, ranging from the well-established to the lesser known. A historical introduction sets up the artistic and cultural context for the rest of the book, which focuses on art since the 1970s and covers the universal themes of the body, life, death, stories and icons. The result is an amazing parade of artworks: eye-catching, poignant, powerful, political, idiosyncratic, playful, awkward, passionate, sexy and positive. It is also an eloquent examination of the impact that the feminist movement has had on contemporary art." - Liz Rideal and Kathleen Soriano


May 2018: Exhibiting in Cosmic Perspectives, Ugly Duck (London)
My new work Wanderer, a portrait for a female stargazer (bottom right) will be included in 'Cosmic Perspectives', a group exhibition curated by Lumen, 25th - 27th May 2018. More information here.


April 2018: International Portfolio Reviewers Choice Award 2018
I'm thrilled to have been awarded the 'International Portfolio Reviewers Choice Award' at Format Festival 2018!


December 2017: Exhibiting in Lumen, Bankley Gallery (Manchester)
Lumen are an art collective exploring the themes of astronomy and light who curate events, exhibitions, seminars and residencies in the UK, Europe and beyond. I'm exhibiting new work from Coma.

August 2017: Awarded a AHRC NPIF PhD Studentship at the University of Sunderland, in partnership with Kielder Observatory

After a long few weeks of intense planning/writing my first PhD proposal, I'm thrilled to announce I have been awarded this PhD Studentship (part of the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership and Northumbria-Sunderland Consortium in Art and Design.) My title is 'Stargazing at the Invisible: Photography and the Power of Obscured Light', where through a practice-based approach I will investigate the links between photography, 'female space', interiority and Astrophotography.
Image © Kielder Observatory https://www.kielderobservatory.org

July 2017: Selected for ArtQuest's Photography Peer Group Forum, The Photographers' Gallery (London)

I'm delighted to have been selected for this by artist Thom Bridge, who will be taking part in the group forum, alongside Andrew Bruce, Emma Bäcklund, Philipp Dorl, Kim Jakobsen To, Maria Kapajeva, Laura Hensser, Julie Hill, Helen McGhie, Ryan Moule, Anja Olofgörs, Martin Seeds and Monica Takvam - the peer group will run for six months, see more info about the artists involved here.



June 2017: Hi-5 Exhibition, ArtWork Atelier (Manchester)
I'm showing new work-in-progress exploring dark femininity and the politics of looking in this group show, with artists Mark Toner, Sophie Tyrrell, Nick Sykes and Hazel Rebecca Clegg.
"Hi-5 reflects ideas in J.G. Ballard’s apocalyptic novel High Rise, where residents in a 40-storey tower block collapse from civilisation to chaos in a revolutionary mass psychosis. As Ballard’s novel portrays a reaction to modern society, each artist’s independent vision is connected into a collective fusion of the psychological effects of modernity including alienation, uncertainty and anxieties of self-identity."


May 2017: Nominated for The Graduate Photographers Award, Magnum Photos & Shortlisted for GM Arts Prize 2017
I'm lucky to have been shortlisted for these two prestigious awards this month! Winners for the Magnum Photos Award will be announced on 18th May at Photo London (Somerset House, London) and Winners for the Greater Manchester Arts Prize will be announced during the shortlisted artists exhibition opening on 10th May.


February 2017: Image #6 from Fitting Rooms in the new edition of 'Graphic Design School', published by Thames and Hudson
My photograph is featured in the photography section of the sixth edition of 'Graphic Desgin School: A Foundation Course for Graphic Designers Working in Print, Moving Image and Digital Media, by David Dabner, Abbie Vickress and Sandra Stewart


November 2016: 'HARD FOCUS' Exhibition, ArtWork Atelier (Salford)
I'm curating and exhibiting in HARD FOCUS, an exhibition investigating the physicality of photography. This group show bringing together 12 artists: David Partington, Mel Cole, Alexandra Hughes, Steve Iles, Hannah Farrell, Sandra Bouguerch, Helen McGhie, Madeline Settle, Leanne Bell Gonczarow, Thom Bridge, Julie Cassels and Sarah Tulloch.

There will be an accompanying symposium on Saturday 5th March with the speakers: Peter Kennard, Martin Shepley, Alexandra Hughes, Moira Lovell, Anna Douglas, Karen Harvey and Andrea Allan.


September 2016: 'And Again' Exhibition, Sluice_at New York
Works from Fissure will be shown at Brooklyn Fire Proof during Sluice_at New York, I will be showing with Vacuous alongside Mel Cole and Murray Anderson.


June 2016: Winner of British Women Artists Competition 2016

I'm delighted to be made winner of this year's competition, judged by Aretha Campbell, Hermione Wiltshire and Marie Jacotey. My work (M)other was selected by the judges:

" '(M)other' is part of a burgeoning appetite for re-theorising the Mother in contemporary art and one that has its roots in the iconography of the Madonna in the history of art but strives to break out of redundant molds that no longer fit." -  Hermione Wiltshire.

"I loved this particular work in terms of both the instillation's composition and subject matter. McGhie's work has a haunting sensitivity, which is underpinned by a dark almost sardonic play on the fragility of the female form. I was particularly interested her use of traditional hand printed c-type photographs, and the interiors in which the subject is shot, to create a fascinating exploration into notions of identity." - Aretha Campbell.


March 2016: Nightlight Darkroom
I've setup and opened a community darkroom space for photographers and artists based in the Northwest of England. Facilities include both a colour ra4 and black and white darkrooms, from printing upto 5x4 negative.



October 2015: Sluice / Do You Like Love? exhibitions
New work 'Corner(ed)' on display as part of Unspecified (curated by Vacuous Gallery) at Sluice 2015. Bargehouse, London (16-18th Oct). http://sluice.info/2015

'Mouth' (from the series (M)other) exhibited in Do You Like Love?, curated by Shutter Hub. 2nd-26th Nov) http://shutterhub.org.uk/


March 2015: Hello Future! Talent's Archive, Onassis Cultural Centre
I've been comissioned to produce a sketchbook by Double Decker (London) for display in as part of Hello Future! Talent's Archive at the Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens.The sketchbook will remain part of the museum's collection. http://www.sgt.gr/en/programme/event/1898


2014: The Sunday Times Magazine
The image 'Cradle' from the series (M)other has been published in The Sunday Times Magazine's 'Image Conscious' article, 23.11.14.