Winner of the Professional Category
Prisoners of Infinite Choice
Guest judge Kazz Morohashi said Helen's work was "visually striking" inviting the viewer to spend time with it. She also noted the "extensive labour and dedication" involved in its creation which made the work "all the more engaging".
Helen explains how the poem, Leaves by Derek Mahon, influenced the artwork....
Simply, it is a very beautiful poem and the phrase ‘prisoners of infinite choice’ immediately suggested a series of images which would fit the formal structure of the grid in an expressive way. ‘Leaves’ is such a haunting work, filled with longing and regret, shifting lives being swept up like leaves into wider, anonymous spaces. The possibilities and regrets of choices unmade, the ghosts of past lives intruding on the living, made me want to experiment with the scale of individual and collective lives, represented by the single square and the work as a whole.
..and about the artwork itself...
The piece consists of a grid of 280 one inch squares, drawn up in pencil then painted individually with acrylic and gouache. I then constructed each square using natural, found materials such as twigs, old pieces of my work torn into strips, old maps, books, cut paper, string, clay, pieces of metal and shells and pebbles collected from local beaches. Using tweezers and archival glue I composed each square until a balance was found within the squares and in the work as a whole.
Please have a look through the gallery below containing all the Adult entries, for both the Professional and Aspiring Artist categories of our Spring Competition. Hovering over the image will reveal both the name of the artist and the poem which inspired the creation of the artwork.