Approved: 01.02.2013

Helena Tomlin

Artist, Curator, Researcher

Archived
Approved: 01.02.2013

Creating new stories from old, my work aims to make visible feelings about loss and survival. My practice concerns the different ways in which histories and memories are embedded in liminal and architectural spaces or collections of objects and I am interested in the tales and fragmented memories passed down by different generations in our family. In particular the complex relationships between women; mothers, daughters and sisters. I have worked with photography, video, painting and drawing, sound and text, exploring my own fractured identity. By investigating collections of family textiles and photograph albums the complex dream world created by my mother and grandmothers to hide the pain of their losses has been opened up.

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Artist Statement

Creating new stories from old, my work aims to make visible feelings about loss and survival. My practice concerns the different ways in which histories and memories are embedded in liminal and architectural spaces or collections of objects and I am interested in the tales and fragmented memories passed down by different generations in our family. In particular the complex relationships between women; mothers, daughters and sisters. I have worked with photography, video, painting and drawing, sound and text, exploring my own fractured identity. By investigating collections of family textiles and photograph albums the complex dream world created by my mother and grandmothers to hide the pain of their losses has been opened up.

Recently I have begun to work on more collaborative projects where the consideration of similar feelings evoked by objects (often contained within personal collections) is put centre stage. These projects have been developed with communities of older people and have resulted in a series of exhibitions and celebrations in Care Homes and Shopping Centres in the northwest.

Researching the tension that arises when personal images are displayed in a public place  informs my practice as I have spent many years working within art galleries, museums and archives. I have exhibited and published in the UK and Europe, including  Bureau, Manchester, Cornerhouse, Manchester, Pratt Institute, New York and Kultur Bunker, Cologne.

CV & Education

Qualifications and training 2002 - MA Fine Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Group exhibitions 2011 - We are all in this together, Bureau Gallery, Manchester 2007 - Margaretha Schoening and Helena Tomlin, Chapman Gallery, University of Salford, Salford 2006 - In Exposed Areas, KulturBunker, Cologne 2005 - Conversations on the Subject of Feminism, Cornerhouse, Manchester Live/Performance 2012 - InDialogue Conference, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham