Helena with her workOne of our Fine Art Painting graduates will be showcasing her work at University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) gallery space ‘The Hanover Project’ after being nominated in Double Negative’s Class of 2016: The North-West’s Top Fine Art Graduates.

Every year the online arts magazine, The Double Negative invites art schools across the Northwest of England to nominate one outstanding student to feature in their article ‘Class of 2016’. The article aims to spotlight the region’s top fine art graduates and demonstrate the artistic diversity of our creative institutions.

Helen Denholm, who graduated with a First Class Honours degree from University Centre St Helens was nominated by Wayne Robinson, Programme Leader of BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting, and James Quin, Lecturer in Painting for her piece, Time Heals (Diptych). It focusses on her recovery from recent surgery, and a fascination with the temporality and remnants of the healing process, she produces pixelated “colour-scapes”.

Wayne Robinson, Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting explains why she was nominated for the accolade, “Helena’s primary engagement concerns the exploration of the tension between forms, pixelation and grids, privileging materiality and the picture form. Naturally occurring, colour-scapes are photographically pixelated, before being carefully choreographed into new painterly forms. The status of her paintings as ‘made’ objects is important to the reading of the work and its intended messages.”

Commenting on being nominated Helena said, “I was delighted to be featured as one of Double Negative’s Class of 2016 top emerging artists from Northwest Universities. This evolved when UCLAN’s graduate Sam Pickett approached the articles contributing institutions about bringing us all together into the Class of 2016 group show. It was such an excellent opportunity to showcase the diversity of emerging talent that I didn’t hesitate to be part of this exciting exhibition. I’m really honoured to be representing the BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting course and University Centre St Helens within this collaborative exhibition.”

Recognising an opportunity to celebrate this accolade, the 2016 nominees have come together to turn the review into an exhibition and represent the scope of fresh talent currently emerging into the art world. This unifying event symbolises a punch in the air from the Northern art hubs of Carlisle, Blackpool, St Helens, Preston, Manchester, and Liverpool. As a participating university, UCLan’s gallery space ‘The Hanover Project’ will be the first to host the group exhibition and gives the viewer the opportunity to explore a range of disciplines including film, painting, sculpture, installation and performance.

The Class of 2016 exhibition runs from 15th - 29th September and is open daily, except weekends from 10.00am – 5.00pm. Admission is free. For further information visit, www.hanoverproject.wordpress.com

The BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting degree at University Centre St Helens is one of only a few degree courses in the country of its type, allowing you to study painting as a specialist practice from day one of your study. Over the three years of the degree students have the opportunity to develop an individual, deep understanding of established painting principles, to innovate, experiment and acquire confidence with a wide range of creative, technical, philosophical and aesthetic processes within fine art painting.

To find out more about studying at University Centre St Helens visit one of our upcoming Open Days.



Why study Art and Design with us?

Creative Environment

You will develop your skills and creative voice in specialist studios and workshops.

Exploration of Techniques

You will explore a wide range of materials, techniques and skills to enhance your portfolio. 


You will take regular trips to galleries, lectures and workshops for inspiration.

Employer Links

You will be taught by industry experts with strong local and national employer links.

Progression Routes

Our excellent progression routes can lead to an apprenticeship, university or employment.