Helen Merrigan Colfer
As an artist Helenʼs preoccupation has always been with the human form be it within a visually representational or emotional state. A constant has been identity, though not always appearing obvious to either the artist herself or others until reviewing the body of work one sees it rise to the fore. In her exploration of identity she uses inﬂuences of the landscape which surrounds her on the southeastern coastal edges of the Hook Head Peninsula, county Wexford & in doing so attempts to unify nature & humanity. She regularly depicts the dichotomy of who we are versus how we present ourselves to others.
Her main artistic concern in recent years has been focused on the fragility of identity within the context of childhood, the effects of external inﬂuences and how these continue to inform us as adults. Her work forms an emotional memoir narrating and giving physical form to the internal mental landscape constructed during her childhood years. These constructs, once in place, create an internal typography where patterns of thought and behaviour are formed, imbedded and ingrained so that they are normalized internally while simultaneously causing us to feel separated from others who do not navigate the same interior terrain.
She creates anatomically realistic ﬁgures incorporating structures and motifs which interact to form narratives which develop as the spectator interacts with the work. Sometimes multiple pieces are placed together so that they can interact by sharing the same space, creating a dialogue between them and the spectator as the individual narratives add and subtract from each other like overlaid radio waves. Hard architectural constructs are meshed with anatomically correct forms to suggest internal dialogues and states of being. Helenʼs more recent work has become more limited in itʼs palette as she began to realize how much hues hid the silence that her art often embodies.
The resulting work will hopefully resonate with spectators who share a similar internal landscape while challenging those whose life journey has been different.