‘Chilled Out Dishy Lady’
Collect from gallery £80
Including UK delivery £95
L 15.8 x W 9.8 x H 3.8 cm
Helen describes her pots as ‘serious, posh and frivolous’ because for many years she was a functional potter, making batches of domestic pots on the wheel. These recent sculptures are hand built individually and each is considered separately. This change in direction followed the death of her youngest child, Tom, at 15 in a steamboat accident.
Her work completely changed, and she started to use a hand building technique using soft and flexible sheets of clay. The sheets of clay are freely cut, curved and sometimes twisted. She plays with perspective by distorting the objects as in a stage set. By inclination she is also a painter, and views these flattened forms as three dimensional canvases. The surfaces are painted with slips, underglaze pigments, and resists. Sometimes she adds silver and gold lustres.
Helen is fascinated by body language and how it communicates. In her ceramic sculptures the exaggerated and stylised movements of the silent movies has seemed a natural way to portray communication and narrative as the sculptures depict moments in the everyday life of people.
She has been looking at Mogul and Persian miniatures and how they tell a story within a single image. Often they show significant events within the life span of a person or a family. Her sculptures are intimate in size and like the miniatures tell of a single moment or event and yet they infer a past and future story to be filled in by the viewer.
Helen works in a series of pieces within a single narrative, each successive sculpture expressing the story in a different way through a change in scale, movement, composition or colour.
Influences have come from contemporary potters such as Gordon Baldwin and particularly John Maltby who showed her at the right moment in her life, that pottery can be sculptural and above all a means of communication and expression as well as being things of beauty.