Helen Beard, Sadie Laska & Boo Saville: True Colours

I’ve always been fascinated with colour. It says the things there are no sounds for, evoking emotive nostalgia, the same way a scent nudges your mind of a memory. The secret soothing power of a cool icy blue or the seductive boldness of a juicy red. Colour helps us make sense of our surroundings, a silent language and visual code.

The unconscious allure of ‘colour’ is a remarkable and intuitive sensation, so very personal to each of us. Its use throughout art allows an intimate connection between the artist and viewer incomparable to words alone.

‘True Colours,’ the latest show at Newport Street Gallery, promises individual explorations of a shared medium from three brilliant, women painters. Although connected through gender and profession, they each have a unique stance for using colour as a tool. Featuring over 50 works, fluidity threads each contrasting piece into a seamlessly refined collection of paintings.


Through her bold, vivacious paintings, Helen Beard captures the surging intimacy of shared energies during sexual intercourse. Brightly coloured body parts fill the canvas, slotting unapologetically into one another and framing moments of passion.

Simplicity guides form in every scene, with clean outlines gliding in organic juxtaposition. Beard brings to light a refreshing perspective to sexual encounters, praising their expressive nature and emotional complexity. Lending pornographic titles such as ‘Wet Wednesday’ and ‘Big Night In,’ she claims ownership from the sullied side of erotica, transforming a masculine orientated fantasy with modern feminine credibility.


Sadie Laska offers a wonderfully rifted visual experience though layers of tactile uncertainty. Her experimental pieces often use found and recycled objects, nonchalantly positioned on top of each other and occasionally escaping off the canvas. Using her energetic stance to composition, she builds a multi dimensional wilderness of conflicting colour, texture and shape.

Laska’s work incorporates the use of banal items such as lids, straws and paper towels, entangling them in a wild chaos of movement. Drumming in underground band I.U.D, Laska invokes a similar freedom of expression throughout her work, allowing improvisation to influence the aesthetic rhythm.

Although initially contrasting in approach, the body of paintings from Boo Saville influence each other, working in sequence with artistic process and production. In her huge colour fields series, jewelled hues flood the canvas, dousing the viewer in a drench of pure, resolute gradient, unmeasurable in depth or focus.

Through the mediative practice of painting these larger scale works, Saville is led words that come to her in the development stages. Continuing with this chain of thought, online searches are made, following this theme and sifting through the random selection of images thrown up by the internet. Developing her discoveries into smaller, more detailed, monochrome works sitting along side each specific colour field, contrasting and unusual in their pairing. Their unlikely positioning explores the transformative life cycle of conceptual art and how an idea can take on new identities through unconscious thought.

‘True Colours’ succeeds at exploring the endless capabilities of one of the world’s richest means of communication. Celebrating colour in its full spectrum of power, the exhibition presents a harmonious showcase of alternate perspectives and possibilities.

True Colours is showing till the 16th September at Newport Street Gallery, London.