Helen Jones

Helen Jones

My drawings begin with my desire to communicate.

Communication of our emotions and thoughts are essential for sustaining healthy relationships with each other and the world around us. By drawing images of the natural world and its tempestuous relationship with the elements, I attempt to evoke an emotional engagement with the viewer and relay my feelings of fear, awe and insignificance of the individual.

I am inspired by my immediate environment and the journeys that I take through this landscape. I am also influenced by the epic imagery that I see in the mass media of man made and natural disasters and the consequential landscapes. I create images that come from combinations of these sources that imply the fluidity and instability of our existence.

Within my drawing I am attempting to highlight the arrogance of humanity. By depicting the immensity of nature in all its glory whether it be land, sea or sky scape. Using composition and scale, I am attempting to overwhelm the viewer, looming over them and engulfing their space, forcing the power of nature and its will down upon them. Thus creating the sense that there is no room left for the self-importance of the individual.

My work reflects my anxieties; I am constantly looking for solutions to the problems that I see around me. I hope to imply a sense of helplessness as if being tossed around in a small boat during a storm out at sea. Drawing has become my vessel to convey this feeling of powerlessness in the face far greater forces.

The drawing process that I am currently using utilises charcoal or black pigment on various types and weights of papers. Employing these materials allows me to work quickly, filling large areas or ground. I often work on several images at a time, returning to each piece to add tone, form and details. I often manipulate the image by cutting, scoring or distressing the paper, using sand paper, sponge, wire wool and other tools to interfere with the pigment on the surface.

Artists who work in a wide variety of media have influenced me. I am particularly interested the visual language that individual artists have developed to express their implied messages. Recently, I have explored the work of Elizabeth Magill, Turner, Vija Climins and Emma Stibbon, who portray, in different ways, landscapes which create an ambiguity and a sense of unease. Richard Burtinsky is an important artist for me. His practice is photography based and he explores the theme of manufactured landscapes. Within his epic imagery he has clear narratives that echo my own concerns.


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