We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 Find out what you need to know before visiting


The divinity of being. The heads. The chambers of being.​The eye of stealth



Helen Maudsley


1927 –

No image
  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    oil on linen
    141.0 x 96.5 cm
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.l.c., black oil "H. MAUDSLEY. 2005"

    Purchased with funds provided by the Patrick White Bequest 2021
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Helen Maudsley
    Artist information
    Helen Maudsley

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Helen Maudsley’s deeply autobiographical and complex paintings and drawings are reflections on human relationships and the surrounding world. Until 1967 she worked predominantly on paper due to space and time constraints caused by a lack of a personal studio; her work was characteristically figurative with a surreal inflection.

    Her oil paintings, which she started painting in 1967 after taking over the studio of her husband, artist John Brack, are pictorial puzzles of intricate personal symbols and motifs, constructed into sophisticated and labyrinthine geometric compositions that share the slightly dreamlike and surreal spirit of her early works on paper. The paintings are composed of abstracted shapes formed from fragments of buildings, figures or landscape, with rich spatial depth and a sophisticated colour harmony. Maudsley sees these explorations of visual language and analogy as purposely ambiguous and refers to them as ‘visual essays’. She gives them poetic titles that give an insight into her thoughts, encouraging the viewer to open their mind to association and analogy in their reading of the work.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

Other works by Helen Maudsley

See all 7 works