Helen has a sophisticated relationship to video exploiting its potential to create experience directly, resulting in a raw aesthetic that exposes the painters approach to mark making. With a bizarre and dark sense of humour, Helen makes  use of the objects that furnish her life to explore the psychological, challenging hierarchies and power relations as a woman, as a mother, as a female artist with children.

In Looking for the Madness of Van Gogh (displayed in the bedroom) Helen reanimates Van Gogh’s field of sunflowers, connecting the represented pictorial space and the experience of being there. The camera becomes an extension of the body as it treads, inspects, wanders and collides with mute co-inhabitants of the field. The human height of the flowers with their down-turned faces engenders a sense of isolation, a trifid like threat that has more in common with a psychological thriller than a painting. As the title suggests Helen is interested in notions of madness, however the durational element and disinterested camera work are just a couple of the ways that she denies a simplistic or romantic understanding of the term as she creates a real sense of confused and painful endurance rather than dramatic inspiration and revelation.

In the living room the large monitor shows two pieces of work, Birdie and The  Consultation, which utilise elementary puppetry as a signifier of dependent relationships, indeed the mother/child relationship informs much of Helens practice. Birdies sites a performance of feeding time in a ‘wild’ suburban bush, laying bare the roles of provider and dependant  with simplistic tools with which games and toys socialise children.The Consultation depicts Martha the Lamb’s (actually a cow) trip to the doctor. In the role of doctor she takes up the off-screen position of the Voice of God, common to documentary, and the entreaty to trust the expert reinforced by the doctor/patient dialogue which, in its mocking simplicity, exposes a cretain glee at the power she exerts over the toys she gives life to, accompanied by frustration at their lack of response.

The small screen features two works, Cat in a Bag and Make Do. The first, as much a sound piece as video, explores the mechanics of toys that make sound. Some images confirm the audio, of which the source is not seen as Helen again takes up the off screen but noticeable physically resent position. Other toys reveal their mechanics, the cat in the bag of the title is a plastic box in a clear bag, meowing as a disembodied hand squeezes the box, the meow becoming more a signal of distress as the squeezing takes on violent overtones

The second piece on the small screen, Make Do, animates the domestic environment creating something approaching a disturbed version of Disneys ‘Snow White’. Ordinary objects, actions and sounds become sentinent and engage with each other, creating a discordant confusion at odds with the ideal of home as sanctuary.

Tartattalle, the audio work on the balcony continues the exploration of the path between states of normality and madness.’ Sheep in Fog’ by Sylvia Plath disintegrates through repetition into nonsense, functioning biography of the original author and engendering a sense of frustration with available modes of communication.

The sense of humour and immediacy of production in this body of work is clearly evident in HRH Prince of Wales  Socks. Perhaps it is a mothers care that attracted Helen to the royal undergarments, but more likely it was the chance to gently mock the pretensions of royalty, and by extension those in a position of unquestioned high regard. As the socks and their wearer strike poses familiar as those of the heir to the throne Helen whistles the national anthem, her timing as disconcerting as ever.

Through out the work it is evident that the acting out and games that Helen plays are a very adult nature indeed.

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