Beetles! Metallic & Iridescent Beauties From Madagascar.

Hello! This is part of my Natural History Museum series – I’ve been taking photos for the beetles department (aka the ‘Coleoptera section of the Terrestrial Invertebrates Division’). I will be sharing my favourite images with you every week!

I had an extra-good time at the museum last week. The design team needed images of Madagascan beetles, and I was handed the keys to the collection and given free reign to photograph whichever specimens I liked! Lucky meeee! You should have seen me, peering into tray after tray filled with beetles of all shapes and colours, muttering to myself in a state of sensory over-excitement. Unsurprisingly, I picked out a bunch of shiny ones. Of course. (In my defence, they’re harder to photograph, so you can’t say I went for the easy option.)


Helena-Maratheftis-Madagascar-beetles-5Above: The spectacular underside of one specimen. So beautiful that I can hardly stand it.


Helena-Maratheftis-Madagascar-3Subtle (and not-so-subtle) copper and rose-gold tones, with the occasional flash of green.



Helena-Maratheftis-Madagascar-beetleThese ones were particularly shiny! Whenever I look at them, I think of molten metal.

Helena-Maratheftis-Madagascar-beetles-1Madagascan wildlife is often unusual and striking, and the beetles are no different. I’m so lucky to have access to the Natural History Museum’s beetle collections – a big thanks to the department for letting me loose in there!

Click here to see other Beetles! posts in this series.


Hello there,

does this ring a bell?


Here’s a hint: It used to look like this –


When I ‘finished’ the latter, I was going on about how is was much simpler than my other pieces but it still worked. LIES. It turns out that I cannot handle minimalism and, unless I’ve plastered my images with aggressive colours and patterns (and rhinestones), I am not happy.

Now I am happy.

The end.

Ms. Winehouse


I made this for a good friend’s birthday. We love Amy.

'Amy' (birthday card), felt tip marker and collage on postcard, A5
'Amy' (birthday card), felt tip marker and collage on postcard, A5

The pink background is actually a pre-bought metallic postcard from Paperchase. I also love Paperchase. If you’re in London I’d seriously recommend the 3 storey megastore on Tottenham Court Rd. It is what dreams are made of.

UPDATE: RIP Amy. I’m so sad.

A Penny For your Thoughts (for sale)

Ahoy there.

I’m feeling a pretty satisfying sense of accomplishment right now: I have been battling with this painting since October, and I am FINALLY pleased with it.

'A Penny For Your Thoughts', acrylic, metallic ink and paint marker on canvas, 60 x 90cm, FOR SALE
'A Penny For Your Thoughts', acrylic, metallic ink and paint marker on canvas, 60 x 90cm, FOR SALE

I think, with this painting, you can fairly conclude that I ain’t no minimalist (and also that I’m not afraid of labour-intensive artwork).


You can hang this in your living room if you want to. (It’s for sale.)

(I think it would look particularly good when framed.)

Cornelius (for sale)

This is Cornelius. He’s about six months old. I painted in him as part of a series of four pieces, two of which have already been sold.

Note the differences between the 2 pictures: depending on the light, the gold raindrops either stand out or recede into the background.

'Cornelius', acrylic and paint marker on canvas, 40 x 50cm, £70
'Cornelius', acrylic and paint marker on canvas, 40 x 50cm, £70


This painting is for sale.