Meet three Plymouth artists who are forging new connections, work and exhibitions


Pathway Artists Online

Kevin Tole | Helen Billinghurst

Helen Billinghurst, Matt Thomas and Kevin Tole are three Plymouth painters who have found common interests and a synergy in their close association and their individual paintings. Their work continues with an exhibition, Pathways, at the Harbour House Gallery in Kingsbridge between 24 May and the 5 June. This exhibition is a chance to review immediate past interests, and continuations since their last show together with Connor McIntyre at the Artmill in September 2015.

Harbour House is on the quay side in Kingsbridge and is run by a charitable trust. It has a large light, open exhibition space which is bookable (with a fee) and the trust takes 20% on sales. The gallery space is run in a very professional manner with a wire hanging system and plenty of display plinths. It’s an excellent exhibition venue and a good opportunity to show work outside of Plymouth.

The staff and office can be reached on 01548 854708 or through their website at

‘From the Palace of Experimental Trickery’ by Matt Thomas – developed from his love of mark-making and observation of every day details.

‘Walking Story II’ by Helen Billinghurst – from a series of works done on reclaimed timber expressing movement through her home landscape

Helen Billinghurst is a graduate of Plymouth College of Art with a background in film, and is currently studying part-time for a PhD in the performance department of Plymouth University. Her practice has seen her walking through the environment and expresses her interaction through video, painting, found objects and sculpture. She has shown extensively in Plymouth and Devon and been resident in Plymouth for over 20 years.

Matt Thomas hails from Seattle originally but has lived and worked here in Plymouth for the last 6 years studying at both Exeter and Plymouth, completing an MA in 2014. Matt is closely involved in the Plymouth art world as both a practitioner and in a curatorial role. His work is diverse but he uses landscape as a dynamic experience which changes and imprints, to be expressed through many different media.

Kevin Tole is Plymouth born and bred but has lived and worked all over the world as an offshore oilfield worker before returning to Plymouth in 2010. With a background in mining geology and ceramics, Kevin is a self-taught painter. He is currently working on a 1-year drawing project based around one particular tree. Previous work has centred on his interest in
maps, corrosion, industry, place and time. He is an inveterate collector of ephemera.

All three found themselves living in close proximity to one another and working predominantly from home. Over time they have built up a close trust and friendship which allows them to honestly give and accept tough criticism, giving a rigour to their work which would have been absent singularly. This element of close trust and honesty between colleagues is a feature which is showing itself in a number of working practises throughout the city with new incentives and workplace practises
springing up as interconnections are made. All three work singularly but often show together because whilst having different emphases, they follow common themes and concerns.

‘The Man Upstairs’ by Kevin Tole – a work developed over a long period of time which ended up as an expression of the local area