Artists Statement

I try to create work that is beautiful but on closer inspection often reveals a more sinister undertone or alternative interpretation. I aim to make pieces that are aesthetically pleasing, drawing you in for a closer look, but that also make you stop and think.


I am fascinated by dichotomies; presence and absence, hidden and seen, good and evil. Shadows encapsulate this idea for me; you cannot have a shadow without an object yet the shadow is not an object, it is intangible. Shadows are generally considered eerie and dangerous, yet only evil beings are without shadows.


Birds (especially the crow family) and feathers have become an important element in my work. I have always loved birds; the way they move, their plumage, their otherness. They are unlike ourselves and other animals, seeming to me to be freer. Their ability to fly is a large part of this, it suggests a means of escape but in doing so implies there is something to escape from. I see them as a symbol of transcendence, a link between a physical world and a more spiritual one. This is a theme that occurs in many myths and stories across many cultures. In my work they often represent us and our spirits and our desire to transcend and change.


Drawing is an important part of my work, it is almost always the starting point for me and as well as being a means of creation in itself I find it a valuable way of exploring ideas.


Process and technique are also very important in my work. I like to use a range of media and techniques but return again and again to traditional textile skills such as knitting, stitching, crocheting and tatting. I like to use textiles for their tactile qualities and versatility and because everyone has a connection with textiles. There is automatically an element of familiarity with a piece of work that incorporates textiles, this can be used to draw the viewer in and then cause them to reconsider and re-evaluate ideas and look for deeper meanings. I also like the feeling that by using traditional techniques I am part of an often forgotten or overlooked history.



Helen Walsh, drawing, continuous line, life drawing, art, delicate stitches