Helen Stephenson

Artist Biography:

Helen lives in Nottinghamshire in the East Midland, UK. She has a degree in Geography and later took a degree in Fine Art with the University of Nottingham. The two degrees describe Helen’s interest in the world around her and how we interact within it as human beings.

Helen had a studio at Harrington Mill Studios from 2007 to 2018. She has participated in numerous exhibitions including collaborative exhibitions in South Korea and Athens. She has also been part of three exhibiting groups called Viewpoint, the Outsiders and Thrive. In 2013 she set up a group called Arts United to increase opportunities and information sharing which then led to her organising and delivering a local arts trail which included the artists, craftmakers, shop keepers and community engagement. Helen has curated and assisted in many exhibitions one of which was the Carnival of Monsters exhibition. Helen also strives for easier access to information and opportunities in the arts and has set up a Facebook page called Arts, Events and Opportunities to share relevant posts across all arts mediums.

When Harrington Mill Studios closed at the end of 2018, Helen set up a new smaller studio space for herself and four colleagues which includes a broad range of artists skills. This space has become a valued working space and we have created an exhibition space for further development.

Helen is passionate about all arts and crafts and enjoys visiting galleries and shows. She believes that the current global climate calls for the greater need to value artisan skills and creative problem solving which is integral to the artistic mind.

Art Practice:

Working in an intuitive way is the essence of Helen’s practice. She likes to create work using her inner self and colour is central to the work she creates.

Helen sometimes starts with an idea (sometimes more of a notion) but primarily let’s the process of each action inform what happens next. This can often lead to a process of losing and finding her way through the painting but this struggle is often an important part of the artist’s way. It can appear accidental but Helen has strong feeling she about what feels right and true and sometimes has to put work to one side and return to it later.

Helen has a vast library of her own digital photography which often influences her paintings. This practice also often informs her work and is sometimes integrated into paintings especially if she is working on thematic piece of work.

Although most of Helen’s work isn’t driven by conscious forces she is aware that our senses and thoughts are continually informed on a continual basis. Even the idea of sitting doing nothing can never really be a vacuum. Even the interferences and disruptions in our lives have an impact upon the artistic process.

Under normal circumstances artists are continually navigating living around the need to have creative output. Even though my family have had a tragedy to deal with during lock down, it has also given me time and quiet space to reflect and respond in the creative manner artists deal with things. I am aware of my space, how I work and I am willing to grow and evolve. Art is like breathing to me.

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