stories from the city
This website is a celebration of the forgotten and overlooked within the fabric of our everyday surrounds
'The story I tell is of a contemporary world sprinkled with natural and cultural sites that have the power to “enchant”... Enchantment is something that we encounter, that hits us, but it is also a comportment that can be fostered through deliberate strategies... To be enchanted is to be struck and shaken by the extraordinary that lives amid the familiar and everyday.'
Jane Bennett, The Enchantment of Modern Life
Taking the form of drawing, sculpture and urban intervention, this website draws together projects and themes developed over the last 20 years of my creative practise. Greatly inspired by a love of walking... as much as a tendency towards daydreaming; I am often drawn towards disregarded aspects of the city. Finding inspiration in the nooks and crannies, street architecture, dark corners, alleyways and the ‘incidental’ nature that decorates and proliferates around and within these spaces.
The work seeks to uncover an 'Enchanted City' that lies within, seemingly, mundane aspects of the everyday. In exploring how such sites can act as localities for imaginative potential, I draw upon references that range from: textural and material qualities; the decorative charm of the urban ruin; memory, heritage and local history; as well as the politics of public space.
Situated within the landscape of the ‘Post Industrial Romantic’, within these projects urban nature becomes a springboard for reflection; and a simple shift in perspective enables us to imaginatively transform the ways in which we engage with public space.
Helen lives and works in Birmingham. Graduating with a BA hons in Fine Art from Central St Martin’s School of Art, London, in 2001; In 2012, she studied a Masters of Fine Art (by Research) at the Victorian College of Arts (Melbourne), graduating with first class honours.
Helen has been the recipient of several awards and grants including the Endeavour Europe Award (2011 - Australian Department of Education), Yulgilbar Scholarship (2012 - Melbourne University) the Fiona Myer Award (2012 - Melbourne University) and the Stuart Black Travelling Scholarship (2015 - Melbourne University). Her artwork has been widely exhibited, as well as being featured in a number of publications internationally.