Helen Clapcott British, b. 1952

Born in Blackpool in 1952, Helen Clapcott moved to Stockport with her family when she was 10 and her first glimpses of the Mersey Valley were love at first sight. It is a subject which has dominated her work ever since. For 40 years she has produced a series of subtle, haunting paintings of by-gone Stockport. She studied Fine Art at Liverpool Art College and The Royal Academy Schools and is one of a very few modern artists working in tempera — egg-based emulsion painted on small to medium sized panels prepared with gesso, a smooth surface like plaster of Paris. This technique, favoured by centuries of artists from ancient times until the 15th century, means she can erase scenes and re-work them in the cause of perfection. She made her first tempera painting of Stockport in 1974.

Every painting starts off with meticulous drawings in her sketchbook and she is still painting from scenes originally drawn in the 1980's when many iconic Stockport buildings began to be demolished. Her paintings capture now-disappeared iconic landmarks and take many months to complete due her meticulous attention to detail. She is now represented by a major London Gallery and Stockport Art Gallery have recently bought several of her paintings.