Creative Spotlight: Helena Grimes
Helena Grimes is an Irish artist and illustrator based in Limerick. Her work has been exhibited in Ireland as well as internationally in the UK, Netherlands, Egypt, Turkey and USA. One of her works, ‘Every Soul has a Dark Forest’, was commissioned and purchased by the University of Limerick in 2015 and is now part of their permanent art collection.
Helena can’t remember a time when she wasn’t creating. “When I was smaller, I remember always stealing my dad’s pens and drawing on any blank pages in my siblings’ copybooks, envelopes and even encyclopedias. In my mind I was creating ‘stories’ and putting them on the page. I always loved creating in whatever form since I can remember.”
It is easy to see that for Helena, drawing is something she is incredibly passionate about. “It is my personal language, an outlet for expression and the most truthful I can be without fear. No matter what I am making I am illustrating in some form. It may be a concept, a story, a moral or something humorous.”
Helena remarks that these days, stories from her childhood shape a lot of her work. “I am reading a lot of fairytales. Nothing like finding a story that leaves you slightly unsettled and stays with you long after finishing. It is that kind of effect I desire for viewers to experience with my drawings; a lasting moment of contemplation. I am drawn to animals that appear in fairytales as they have a strong symbolic value. The animals act as a vehicle to communicate my concepts, thoughts and interpret my world. The drawings have a fable-like quality to them where the work illustrates people and feelings yet the human form is rarely seen. The animal is pure and innocent; less threatening and is also more universal.
Her inspiration comes from a variety of places, from “books, myths, nature and life itself. One artist who has been a huge inspiration would be Dublin artist Denise Nestor. Her work is so delicate yet powerful. Internationally, Marco Mazzoni, Caitlin Hackett and Beth Cavener Stichter are up there with who I have always looked up to. I get lost in drawing and details in my own process as well as enjoying others work”
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