Editor’s Note: This feature was originally published on our previous platform, In the In-Between: Journal of Digital Imaging Artists, and the formatting has not been optimized for the new website.
British Artist Helen Sear’s dual series, Inside the View and Beyond the View, expresses variations on themes of female strength, passivity and defiance. Through the use of super-impositions and digital drawing, she presents to us anonymous portraits of women layered under foils of flower motifs, intimate landscapes, and delicate lace-like patterns.
Within the frames of Beyond the View, the subjects are untouchable. The enigma of their anonymity is strengthened by the visual discourse they are encapsulated within. I read these woman as being protected, as if the floral overlays function as barbed wire that keeps the viewer distanced far enough as to only be able to regard the mystery of these women as myth, ultimately as unknowable.
Inside the View takes a similar approach albeit with more open visual allowances. Here we are not so much kept away from these figures as we are pushed right through them. They’re still unknowable, and the unsettled figure/ground relationships leave the viewer grasping for an understanding of what is deemed both impenetrable and transparent.
Helen Sear’s latest body of work, Sightlines, is currently on view at Klompching Gallery in New York.
Text by Gregory Jones.
Special thank you to KlompChing Gallery.
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