Barbara Helmer’s enjoyment of painting is informed by the use of dramatic light, faded colours, light flares, backlighting, light moving through transparent material, and iridescence. Her earlier works depicted nature – trees, for example – as structures and patterns. Working from photographs, she would make templates from which she would build up layers of paint. Helmer’s fascination with trees and landscapes then extended into more abstract territories, but was still underscored by natural forms, such as crystals, minerals, and quartz materials. These materials manifest the fascinating ways that light refracts, diverse layers of colours, and the formation of a colour.