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  •   LATEST.... Ballinglen arts foundation residency curtecy of Cork County Art Council November 2019


    ‘The unexpected homecoming'

    Travelling to the Céide fields and Ballycastle, Co Mayo, was unexpectedly like a homecoming. The raw, unapologetic landscape with its magnificent beauty went right into my DNA. Spending time amongst the stones on the Céide fields—and trying to imagine how it was when they were deliberately placed some 6000 years ago to create devilling’s and field systems—was like ‘seeing’ the blood run through my veins. Once bustling with life, they now lie in patterns, like rivers and lakes, vessels of history – that allow the passer-by a momentary glimpse into life so long ago—but only If you take the time to stop and feel and listen. Each individual stone tells a story, as does each crack and crevice that runs between and through them. I got to know some of them. I let the landscape soak into me, and I came to a vivid awareness that where we call home can be many places.’

    Helle Helsner 2020

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  • Born in Copenhagen in 1968, I moved to Ireland in 1994 to study Fine Art at Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork. Working primarily in sculpture I began, early on in my career, to explore the inclusion of bronze casting in my practice. This led to a 2 year Masters (through research) into pre-historic casting techniques. I subsequently established my own studio practice in West Cork and since then has continued to explore the potential of combining ancient methods with my contemporary art practice while at the same time continuing my archaeological research programme.

    Working alongside a Shaman in New Mexico in 2010 gave me a unique opportunity to fully explore the role of rituals and the use of material in pre-historic traditions. This experience proved a turning point in my practice allowing me, for the first time, to fully express my values and seek a new language for my work. This has led to a greater appreciation of nature and a practice based on a strong ecologically and sustainable approach.

    Drawing has always been an important part of my practise and  for years  the human figure was my main source of inspiration. However by moving studio and house to the beautiful surroundings of west cork it was only a matter of time before nature slowly began to take an substantial part for subject matter.. Local flora and fauna now plays as an important role as figurative influences.

    In resent years  I have furthermore added the inclusion of precious metals in the form of bespoke fine art jewellery. Again primarily concerned with the nature surrounding me I have developed a method to cast the flora that surrounds my garden, woodlands and hedges. Using pre historic methods I create unique jewellery with charcoal fired clay furnaces and bellows keeping in line with my fascination of ancient craftsmanship.