Blog 7: Helen Minogue
Eddi and I first met Helen Minogue on a visit to the mid north coast last year. This self effacing artist confided that she had a compulsion to express her feelings in paint and, whilst she was not actively exhibiting full time, she had produced enough work for us to assess her talent.
As you know I am a newcomer to the art scene, but it rapidly became apparent to me that there was something special about Helen’s work and I could see that Eddi was impressed also. She rummaged in the studio and through every room in the house and unearthed works which were hanging in dimly lit rooms and some hidden in corners and under piles of discarded drawings. A fairly typical artist's studio, I have since learned!
We left Helen's studio exhilarated and with a number of works which have since been well received. So, it is with great pleasure that we have invited Helen to be one of the artists in focus for the grand opening of Eddi Kewley Art Consultant’s on-line operation. Diary Date - Sunday 13 September 2015 from 2 pm. at 11 Pamela Place Kenthurst NSW.
Helen describes her work as being... “an urgent description of what I feel, swift and honest” and says she uses the language of images, poetry and also gets representation of ideas through objects. She explained further as I looked confused. The viewers' insight is often like looking into a strange mirror and seeing something surprising and unexpected. The meanings elicited from such viewings are personal and peculiar to each of us.
The things she is drawn to include: Awkward things, such as man-made objects that betray a vulnerability about the maker e.g. ornaments and toys, although, I am exploring a more sinister angle, that of humans who manipulate things to suit a personal ideal, e.g. breeding dogs to look a certain way. Beautiful things can be symbolic, such as brown paper bags, which are full of colour and variation and can describe human traits and/o gestures such as narcissism and ostracism.
I asked Helen to comment on two polarised examples from the spring show, that display different approaches to art making.
1. More Bang for your Buck in the Ketamine Village
This is a recently completed work that I started in response to the downing of MH 17 over the Ukraine. I happened upon a YouTube video showing people in a field watching the debris fall out of the sky. It was a horrifying combination of every-dayness and evil. The canvas became a theatre for exploring a feeling of helplessness in a mad world, and the phenomena of terrible things happening, and people continuing on with their lives. The name of the painting is a joke about consumerism, and forgetting, and a comment on the very busy nature of the painting. (i.e. you literally get more to look at).
2. Hello Poppet
This started out as a painting of empty brown paper bags. Faces were suggested to me arbitrarily from some of the paint marks and a little drama enfolded. The bag on the left seems to be a pet or some sort of innocent. The other seems to be the one with the power. In 'Hello Poppet,' the bags were painted from life and there is an element of urgent description.
More bang for your buck sources objects, printed images and made up ideas and took a long time to complete. It also has a more in depth political meaning. Hello Poppet is more like a cameo.
We hope you will take the time to visit on Sunday and view the works and to hear Helen talk about her paintings.
Until next week,