Woman with Stone
My work is concerned with the relationship between words and images; the idea that words are themselves images with deep etymological connections to the physical world. I am not a linguist but words have always sung to me through poetry and literature and I enjoy the playfulness of language, both spoken and written.
Words and letters contain memories, carrying thousands of years of history in their forms and meanings. They are gestural, colourful, enigmatic and musical, the stuff of spells and sorcery; intuition and imagination.
I try to create visual equivalents to words, phrases or poetry, working with gouache overlaid with found objects, wood, stone, paper and metal. I often work on a grid format which has endless permutations in terms of composition, colour and texture, particularly in its potential for variations in scale.
In the words of the wizard Miro –
‘It is signs that have no exact meaning that provoke a magic sense’.
I live and work in north east Suffolk not far from the sea. In a previous life I worked as an illustrator but for the past eleven years I have run art sessions for adults with special needs, which is the best fun in the world and which has probably stopped me from becoming a completely nerdy wordsmith with a paintbrush. My husband is a hero who handles all the scary stuff (ie accounts, making proper coffee, creating and updating this website).
I exhibited for many years as Helen Cockburn – in case of any confusion, we are one and the same person!