Thursday, 5 January 2012

Artists Statement.

Ever looked at a Helen Osborne and thought to yourself "Well now, WTF is this all about?!", I'm sure you have you naughty bugger. Well now you can know.......

Helen Osborne
Artists Statement

“I am for an art that embroils itself in everyday crap and still comes out on top"
-Claes Oldenburg

Initially, my work began to develop from a dissatisfaction and anxiety over life in general. It was a way of “cleaning” up any problems I felt I had, driven from a very personal place, it soon became a calming process that made me happy. I started to think about how life is full of cancers; some things that are around just to screw up your day, and some that are much bigger ad damaging, and I found making these paintings as some sort of cure for mine. So I ran with that idea.

I began to become fascinated with images of cancer cells, and was struck by their appearance. These lethal microscopic embodiments of evilness, so brightly coloured, so seductive in their beauty, it’s like this bizarre human instinct to be drawn to things that you know are bad for you, I think it’s something everyone does whether consciously or not. I became really engaged with the images of these cells and the antithesis between how they look and their “function”, their correlation with, and the comment I feel they make on my life. I wanted to make paintings about them; they look to me as though they’re begging to be painted about, and I found calm in recreating them my way.

I make a conscious effort to put some distance between the origins of the concept and the visual outcomes. I lay a heavy focus on the aesthetic, (in itself an ironic comment on the concept). I decided to take these images and to turn them into something I want to see- something that I perceive as beautiful, bold, colourful, vibrant, clean, smooth, flawless and interesting. A silver lining to life’s daily crap.

The paintings I make are no longer of the cancer cells, but are a simplified representation of them that have abstracted further and further through the process of painting. A process that has become systematic and important to me, though I welcome the “happy accident” that I often find propels my paintings in way that cannot be contrived. I am also concerned with exploring media, and the materials I use are a further discussion point in the conversation I am provoking on the ideas of beauty and happiness. I enjoy creating a playfulness between different paint textures, the outcomes can be so striking when you combine them just right, Satin, Silk, Matt and Gloss, Gloss being my favourite surface as it perfectly communicates the smooth clean vibrant surfaces that I create, the clean ideal of the beautiful.

“Colour is everything I’ve got”
-Gary Hume

I adore colour, and my love for colour absolutely shines through in my paintings. I put together colours that I want to see; sometimes this can be striking, even clashing as a nod to the conceptual source of the cancer cells, sometimes more delicate and tonal, subtle in their qualities, allowing the texture to do the work.

When the perfect colours are combined with an ever increasing scale I create a vibrant surface of image that appears to be moving, through patterning that shifts the viewer’s eye around the painting, a surface that’s alive with tonal qualities, texture and shape.

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