Helen de Sybel




Border series


A series of mixed media paintings made in response to the refugee crisis,
displayed in the forthcoming exhibition:

BORDERS at Highgate Gallery

25 Jun - 08 Jul 2021




Crucifixion at the Border 2018
Oil and collage on board 90x74 cm




Artist's introduction to the work

Borders first grew out of a deeply felt reaction to the plight of the refugees in the ‘Calais Jungle’ (2016).¬† Through the medium of oil paint and collage she references the conditions of war and displacement that have driven many of these individuals and their families from their countries of origin to seek a better life.

“In this body of work, I have become interested in the separation between the figures which struggle to remain ‘whole’ and the surrounding hostile and unstable landscape in which they find themselves.”

The characters who populate these canvasses are highly ambiguous, in singles and in pairs, sometimes running, sometimes hiding or following or being followed.  Much is left open for the viewer to interpret in these charged, vital, expressionistic works.




Border 2018
Oil and collage on board 33x69 cm



Border Detail


Border Detail


Border Detail




Father and daughter Calais Jungle 2018
Medium oil and collage
81x105 cm




Border installation 2018
Medium: oil and collage
100x95 cms

Click and scroll image for large view.




On The Way 2020
Acrylic and Gouache 12x30cm




Evening On The Road 2020
Acrylic and Gouache 15x45 cm




Early Morning 2020
Mixed Media 12X30




Child Refugee 2019
Mixed Media 10x14 cm




On the road 2019
Oil pastel and charcoal on paper 122X153cm




Calais Camp Evening 2019
Charcoal and conte 50X40cm




Old man resting 2019
Mixed Media 21X20cm




Border Post 2021
Acrylic, charcoal and pastel




Child refugee in the camp 2021
Acrylic and pastel




Child refugee on the road 2021
Acrylic and pastel




Letter 2021
Collage 48x60cm




Separation 2021
Collage 46x60cm




Journey 2021
Collage 58x60cm




Mother 2021
Collage 58x60cm




At the Border 2021
Oil and pastel on canvas 95x107cm



Towards The Bridge 2021
Oil and pastel on canvas 95x107cm




Dusk 2021
Oil and pastel on canvas 95x107cm



Walking Through 2021
Oil and pastel on paper