Helen Birmingham

I could just write my CV and a list of exhibitions I've been involved in, but I don't really think that would be a true reflection of me, and what I'm about .. so here goes ... this is me ... 

I live in Scarborough in North Yorkshire and I call myself a Mixed Media Textile Artist, but I'm just as happy to be known as a stitcher, a crafter, a workshop provider, a facilitator or a teacher.  I love working with textiles. Textiles, for me, have a direct connection to my understanding of what it is to be human: a form of identification, of belonging, of history.

 

This is how I once described myself: 'I may well be a sociopath fighting with a psychopath wearing the mantle of a narcissist ... but maybe I am just human.'  I work with fabric, print, poetry and prose. I take inspiration from art, nature, science and psychology. I am fascinated by evolution and hereditary characteristics - that chance mutation, repetition, layering.

 

I think that my work is about being human .. asking myself what it is that I am actually trying to document and then trying to find the best way to record my thought processes and actions. I like to repeat images, allowing them to evolve (artistic natural selection?). It is important to me that my work is accessible .. that's part of the joy of working with textiles .. using materials,  methods,  techniques and skills which are familiar - whose understanding has passed through generations. I often describe my work as being like 'a chlld'. When I am creating, shaping, influencing it, it is a precious and intimate relationship. But once the work is finished, it interacts with others, forms new relationships and continues ..  

For me, I have succeeded if my work draws the viewer in to take a closer look; asks questions;  invites opinions;  facilitates growth; inspires others to translate my ideas into their own.

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