Turning in a new direction

• Helen Turner with works from Helen Britton & David Bielander’s exhibition (above) and David Bielander and Helen Britton (below). Photo by Dirk Eisel.

HELEN TURNER is closing her eponymously-named art galleries in Northbridge and Claremont after 20 years.

Family commitments, rather than tough economic times, were behind the decision, Ms Turner said.

“[It’s] time to retire and move on gracefully to greater involvement with my growing number of grandchildren and to spend more time with my ageing mother and create time for support of my husband’s new business venture.”

There are also plans for travel, and new ventures.

“I don’t know what’s out there, but if you don’t create a void you will just keep doing what you’ve been doing,” Ms Turner told the Voice.

In 1999, aged 50 and fresh out of Claremont Art School the former chalkie decided to open her own gallery, despite having no idea what that would entail.

“It developed on its own with the help of [still curator] Allison Archer,” Ms Turner says.

Turner Galleries have held numerous highly successful exhibitions featuring international, national, and local artists, including the recent stella show of local artist Leon Pericles’ works.

It’s also sponsored 57 artist residency programs.

“Bringing eastern state and overseas artist to WA and taking our artists east, and to Taiwan,” Ms Turner said.

The current Artangels program of exhibitions will be the galleries’ finale, with the curtain coming down today (Saturday, November 23).

It features German/Australian artists Helen Britton’s and David Bielander’s The Rage of Dekoration + A Room Full of Lies, and Erin Coates and Anna Nazzari’s Fauna Flesh Flora.

Pieces from both exhibitions are being snapped up for the WA and South Australian art galleries.

“It’s a high note to finish on,” Ms Turner says.


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