Thursday, 18 February 2010

Artist Profile: Helena Barrett


Helena Barrett

Permanent Working Location:

Manchester, UK

General working practice

My work uses mediums of live performance and its document, in the forms of video and projection to create installations. I use process to illustrate subject matter in my work. I use physical objects embodying reflective surfaces in my installations to repeat strong feminine bodies over and over to force a deterioration of imagery. My work begins through a material making of elaborate costumes and characterizations for the female. I like my work to undergo a translation from object to image and revert back to object again through a physical installation. For me a human body is every much an object or a tool as a piece of fabric or piece of furniture. I use repetition and layering to develop an understanding of the female gaze and the position and frame women have through observation of each other.

Mill24 Exhibition:

The performance will begin with one professionally trained actress mimicking the gestures of women she sees on a projected screen in front of her for the totality of the one hour duration. She will adopt a persona influenced by the exaggerated feminine costume she adorns. As she repeats the actions over the passage of time they will become almost automatic and emotionally charged. During the performance duration two amateur performers will attempt to imitate the leading actress in her movement. They will keep hold of their individual character but react to similar costumes, make up and wigs to the leader's persona. They will enter onto the "stage" at different intervals to expose the variation between performing an action for the first time and becoming completely lost in it over a duration of repetition. The variation in performers will aim to investigate the deterioration of a choreographed female sequence that centers around the female gaze on each other and the interdependency of their movements and concept of self.

Mill24 Exhibition Date, Mill Location & Time:

Saturday 24th April 2010 | Gallery | 19:00-20:00

Contact Email:

Curriculem Vitae:

October 2009

Oxjam, Nexus Art Café, Manchester

A collaborative installation exhibit commissioned by the charity Oxfam’s national music and arts festival.

July 2009

Crag, 101 Princess Street, Manchester

An exhibition that belonged to a collective group of exhibitions opening around Manchester to encompass the Manchester Art Crawl, supported by the Not Part Of festival.

May 2009

Drove of Asses, Victoria Baths, Manchester

Group exhibition in an old Victorian swimming baths that is currently under restoration.