4th September 2012 – 9th October 2012 at In Toto Gallery
The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice
Continuing in her personalised genre of expressionism, the unfolding trajectory of Helen Joseph’s figurative charcoal drawings exemplify ideas of abuse that originate within discrimination. The impact and nuances of physical and emotional degradation; the despairs of singularity and isolation have led to Joseph’s new body of work rendered in vivid colours that have been selected from her unique palette of mixed media.
Joseph questions the ideology that humans are divided into distinct biological categories that dictate the characteristics of the individual. Each image in Helen Joseph-New Work is a politicized space where we see Joseph exploring, through colour, form, texture and line, contemporary perceptions of what defines a person. This latest series of work is not about people or figures, but about colour and freedom. “The paintings create themselves,” she says. “It’s extremely exciting, because one doesn’t know what the outcome will be. But, it’s also liberating.”
By allowing the viewer to explore the image in more ways than one, seeing variation in the same picture, we are directed back to the issues at the heart of Joseph’s work: there is always more than one way to view something. The process is revealed to the viewer as we are taken along on a journey with the artist. The same image, with the delicate and detailed drawing as a base, is re-worked through different mediums. Some of the drawing gets lost in the process of adding veils of colour, either in oil or watercolour or printed images of the original drawing.
The architecture of the drawing is still evident but with the re-visiting of the image we recognize there are many more possibilities, always more questions than answers. Joseph, dynamic as always, queries and explores ideas instead of attempting to define and solve.
Written by Megan Kidd
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