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Poetic symbols as layers of expression

Coming from a diverse cultural background, I’ve always been very drawn to the unique histories of our respective ancestral lands, our shared landscape, and our changing relationships to the natural world. The ever-shifting mathematical structure of nature is something I’ve always felt deeply moving, as a reminder of both constancy and change. Whether the work spurs from nature or is man-made, I find beauty in unraveling the many distinct perspectives and the way they come about through unexpected visuals and different techniques.

I take a personal approach to social, political, cultural and environmental issues. Engaging with different subjects, I often combine different poetic symbols and arrange them into new conceptually layered pieces. I enjoy bringing life to the canvas and creating artworks that are personal but also express a sense of interconnectedness and social responsibility. There’s an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary flow to my practice, and I work back and forth between drawing, painting, printmaking, videoart, sculpting and writing.

Themes and stories begin to unravel as I layer lines and colors, the process of creation stops the reality of the domain we live in and produces an escape, through reflection or provocation, where new visions are given space to emerge. Each new environment begins to tell a story, unfolding the many complex issues that we navigate daily as part of our lived realities. It also reflects, in some part, the ever growing iterations of the human condition. These creative gestures are at once expressions of emotion and intentional dialectic. These can be non-referential, especially when we take into consideration that representation has always stood for institutionalized forms of expression, and consciously or unconsciously, legitimized the interests of power.

Art allows us to create diverse and grounded discourse as a direct response to a rapidly changing world and as a way to foster, and cultivate a much needed dialogue that goes beyond words. We’re living in a cultural wasteland where a throwaway attitude has converted every thing and every being into cheap disposable objects. Human beings are experiencing an underlying collective illness, shaping their world by this mindset of utility and disposability. Their consumer desire has consequently led to environmental degradation and exploitation of vulnerable communities, the disposable among them. Art remains as a disruption to this complicated relationship to the culture of mass thought and mass production that still delivers a kind of freedom, by existing outside of a need for functionality or entertainment, or by stirring deep thoughts and emotions.

Helena Barbagelata


Social: Instagram: @helenabarbagelata

Youtube: @helenabarbagelata


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