HelenScalwayimageIn This Fragile Place


Statement: I am interested in attempting to explore ‘dwelling’ structures as models of ‘self’ in relation to ‘others’ selves’. This involves me in constantly attempting to model/make visible that which is invisible – a sometimes frustrating process. But I keep trying…

How would you describe your practice?

Mixed media, drawing based.

How has being selected for SHOWCASE supported your practice?

It has stimulated me into making work. I’m always making it and thinking about it, but having a specific focus and deadline really helps to pick up the pace. And I’ve really enjoyed the conversations at the meetings leading up to the show, so thought-provoking.

What is your earliest memory of art?

Aged four, drawing on the wallpaper with my mum’s lipstick. (Got into trouble).

Which artists have influenced your work?

I don’t know about actual ‘influence’ but I’ve looked a lot at Piranesi’s Carceri etchings. Then, in very different 20th century registers: Kurt Schwitters: Tarkovsky through his film ‘Stalker’: Clarence Schmidt for his ‘House of Mirrors’: and the much more recent work of the sadly too soon deceased Paul Eachus

Who is your favourite living artist?

I look at several artists with interest, none I’d say was ‘favourite’: e.g. Sarah Sze for her inventiveness and plenitude, Julie Mehretu, Gregory Euclide.

And favourite artist from the past?

Joseph Gandy, Sir John Soane’s genius draughtsman.

What is your favourite piece of art?

I’d have to name dozens!

What is the most important lesson your have learned about art/being an artist?

That it’s all a dialogue between thought and play, process and materials, nothing can be imposed or foreseen.

What piece of advice would you give to a new artist?

Most important, try anything, be utterly open. Don’t sink back into what has been successful for you in the past. Above all keep going, it’s a lifetime’s work. Oh dear that does sound challenging. And I do find it so, but the surprises are so addictive.

Future shows/new projects?

Residency as an artist in the Geography Department at Royal Holloway, University of London. A show in December 2016 at The Stone Space in Leytonstone. Update and overhaul my website, a vital form of communication.


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