There’s something about Ileigh Hellier’s landscapes that make them feel plot-driven, like there is a rich layer of story lurking beneath the surface. Her simple, colourful canvases are by no means traditional landscapes, but in their apparent naivety, they carry a sense of excitement and mystery.
This feeling is perhaps due to her process, which involves building layers of story over the previous one. ‘I never sketch before I begin painting,’ she explains. ‘I like to just begin because I often end up painting over and over and over, so whatever is underneath can rarely be seen on the surface.’
Ileigh’s paintings are like a self-fulfilling prophecy: once she starts a composition, she relies on memory and intuition to guide the composition. ‘I find that once a body of work is underway I no longer need to refer to my drawings, instead I can begin referring to my paintings