Commissions / Projects
As a socially and ecologically engaged community artist, Helen has collaborated on a diverse range of cross-arts projects, and she brings multiple skills and experience to co-create memorable events. Most recent projects are:
Having received a commission from Cape Farewell to explore pollution and its impacts on ecosystems and more-than-human beings in the South Dorset watershed draining into Poole Harbour, Helen engaged with scientists and pursued her own independent research to complete a poem cycle 'Dorset Waterbodies, A Common / Weal'. She collaborated with visual artists David Buckland and Anna Frijstein, contributing text installations to joint exhibitions at Lighthouse, Poole (to coincide with COP26), and at Durlston Counry Park, Swanage. Helen's long-form ecopoem, comprised of five individual sections (thematically connected like tracks on a concept album), was recorded with the support of Michael Ormiston, featured as audio in the exhibition spaces, and has subsequently had a soundtrack added to it, with underwater recordings made by Professor Adrian Newton.
Waves O'Flight, 2018
Helen collaborated with a group of artists celebrating the wildlife of Findhorn Bay in NE Scotland, and as part of her residency with this project, she researched and wrote her long poem 'Findhorn Bay, Waves of Flow & Flight', which was performed during the Findhorn Bay Arts Festival, 2018. Helen subsequently collaborated wtih VisionSonic to make this recording.
Last Tree Dreaming, 2015-16
As writer-in-residence with this Heritage Lottery funded project, Helen collaborated with other locally based artists to explore and celebrate the heritage of Selwood Forest in and around Frome in Somerset, through public engagement including creative writing workshops, community tree planting days and the co-creation of a museum exhibition. Her long poem 'Frome-Selwood, an Odyssey' was another outcome, and the poem is published in her third collection, The Mother Country.
Web of Life Community Art Project, 2011
To raise awareness of the Sixth Mass Extinction, Helen directed the Web of Life Community Art Project in Frome, Somerset, engaging local schools in exploring extinct and endangered animals; creating an exhibition with their artwork displayed alongside professional artists' work on the theme; and staging a funeral procession through the town, followed by a ceremony with songs, poetry and stories. Some of Helen's poems about extinction appear in her debut collection, Hedge Fund, And Other Living Margins.