Helen Cann is an illustrator and artist from Brighton in the UK.
She specialises in making maps but also draws and paints.  Helen is the author of ‘Hand Drawn Maps’ (Thames and Hudson 2017).

Her work has appeared in a number of large community and fine art commissions.  Recent work includes a mural mapping the cultural and historical relevance of the sea at Bexhill for the De La Warr Pavilion on the UK South Coast; a map of the science, history and cultural relevance of the apple exhibited at Croft Castle and the Museum of Cider in Herefordshire; and a pair of psychographical maps of two villages on the Sussex Weald.  Her map of Eastbourne is in the collection of Towner Gallery. 

In 2022 she became an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Cumbria and took part in a year long project mapping an area of restored bog, Bolton Fell Moss. The project was a collaboration between the Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas, Natural England and the PLACE Collective and the piece will be exhibited at Bolton Fell Moss, now a major National Nature Reserve.

Her work has been commissioned for use in TV and film, most recently for Turkish Airlines (in a commercial directed by Ridley Scott), for ‘His Dark Materials’ by HBO/BBC, by Lionsgate (for ‘The Spy who Dumped me’), the BBC (for ‘Mapp and Lucia’ and ‘Howard’s End’) and Searchlight Pictures for the film, ‘Chevalier’.

She regularly gives workshops in hand drawn mapping techniques at galleries and museums.  Please contact her for more information.

Art Republic
Enter Gallery

Exhibitions include:

2024 ‘The Art of Politics’, the University of York.
2023-24 ‘A Variety of Cultures’, The Museum of Cider, Hereford
2023 ‘An Apple Gathering‘, Croft Castle, Herefordshire
2021 ‘A Map of the Sea and the De La Warr Pavilion’, mural commissioned by De La Warr Pavilion
2019 ‘Here be Whales’, Universities of Leeds and Hull, Hull Maritime Museum/Left Bank Leeds
2017 ‘Hand Drawn Maps’, ONCA Gallery, Brighton
2015 ‘Digiskull’, The Booth Museum, Brighton
2015 ‘The Whale Road’, ONCA gallery, Brighton
2015 ‘Correspondence’, Prestamex House, Brighton
2013 ‘Making Tracks’, ONCA gallery, Brighton
2006 ‘Stories from the Silk Road’ (illustrations), Chicago Institute of Art, Chicago
2002-2004 ‘Imagine’ (touring exhibition – illustrations), Blakesley Hall, Birmingham, Holburne Museum, Bath, Guildhall Gallery, Guildford, Manchester Art Gallery

Towner Gallery.  ‘Map of Eastbourne.’

2014 Pangaea Explorations/ONCA Gallery. A residency working as crew with environmentalists and oceanographers sailing across the North Atlantic documenting whale sightings. The resulting exhibition was ‘The Whale Road’ in 2015.

Talks and Workshops include:

2022 ‘Maps for Movement’. Online talk. British Cartographic Society
2022 ‘Professional Practice’. Online talk. Chrysalis Arts
2021 ‘The Big Draw’. Online children’s workshop. The Courtauld Institute
2021 ‘Escape from Coronaland’. Online workshop. Brighton Chamber of Commerce
2018 ‘Hand Drawn Maps’.  Day workshop at Towner Gallery, Eastbourne
2018 ‘Hand Drawn Maps’.  Day workshops at Ditchling Museum of Art+Craft
2017 ‘Mapping by Hand’. Short workshop at ONCA Gallery
2017 ‘Hand Drawn Maps and Mapping Stories’. Talk. The Catalyst Club, Brighton
2015 ‘Using Sketchbooks’.  Talk. Loughborough University

2021 ‘Rethinking Civil Society’, curated by the University of York. Online.
2019 ‘Archipelago: An Atlas of Imagined Islands‘ (Thames and Hudson)
2019 ‘Whale Encounters’ by Sophia Nicolov (East Street Arts)
2017 ‘Hand Drawn Maps – A Guide for Creatives’ (Thames and Hudson)

The PLACE collective.