Helen’s aim is to engage the viewer through good design and craftsmanship, creating energy and movement intertwining contemporary and traditional elements. Her designs are inspired by the client, the brief and the building, whether housed in historic or modern buildings, in ecclesiastical or secular contexts.
Helen has 25 years of experience in stained glass creation and restoration painting and has completed at least 100 commissions. She is Creative Director at the highly acclaimed Barley Studio, where all work is carried out in-house in the purpose-built Studio in York. Her commissions can be seen in prestigious buildings across the UK, including Westminster Abbey (translating into glass designs by David Hockney RA in 2018 and Hughie O’Donoghue RA in 2013); the Merchant Taylors’ Hall, York; St Mary’s Priory Church, Abergavenny; the RAF Club, London; All Saints Church, Pavement, York (supported by the York Press Afghanistan Appeal); Glaziers Hall, London; Ely Cathedral; Reed’s School, Surrey; St Mary’s Church, Sheffield (supported by the Arts Council); York District Hospital; Southwell Minster and Beverley Minster (supported by the Friends of Beverley Minster).
Helen has an MA in Visual, Islamic and Traditional Arts from her studies at the Prince of Wales’s Institute of Architecture, awarded by the University of Wales. Her BA, with a specialism in three-dimensional design using glass and ceramics, is from the University of Sunderland, a Centre of Excellence and the largest glass and ceramics department in Europe. Helen recently obtained an FdA in Business Management from Leeds Metropolitan University.
Helen is a Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass Painters and a Court Member (the executive body) of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers, a leading Livery Company of the City of London, first recorded in 1328. She is a Brother of the Art Workers Guild and a Craft Scholar of the Prince’s Foundation, having received the prestigious Hancock Medal for High Achievement. She has won several awards including a commission through the highly competitive Stevens Competition, and now feels privileged to be Chairman of the Judges of the Competition, having been a member of the judging panel on several occasions. Between 1999 and 2017 Helen was a visiting tutor for the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts.
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