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MORE THAN I CAN SAY 143 X 103 X 6CM SOLID ENCAUSTIC WAX  ON WOOD OAK_crop.jpg
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Helen Keen Exhibition

"Work is love made visible".

"I'm passionate about artmaking  - it's a way of life for me - I think of myself as a storyteller-scientist - converting tree resin and beeswax into sculptured and polished paintings that will survive centuries.

Alluring on so many levels! 

As a lover of impressionism I'm constantly responding to life - light fascinates and motivates me to endlessly explore. Every expression captures an indelible and unrepeatable signature.

Amalgamation rivets me to this meditative dance - an alchemist committed to the trance ."

Working from a studio at the foothills of the Waitākere Ranges, Helen Keen’s encaustic wax paintings resonate with the local flora and fauna while inhabiting the fragmented light of this forested ecosystem. Kaleidoscopic wonderlands de-materialize, shape-shift, and surface patterns melt into surfaces, to give the optical effect of “a panorama containing multitudes.” This patterning and surface mark-making create painterly echoes of a bygone era, which are recognisable, yet brilliantly fashioned in their individual composition. Each painting is a landscape of folded light, where dream aesthetics fuse elemental forms of shadow and pigment. Helen Keen’s artistic practice transitioned from ceramicist, to discovering the artisanal techniques of working with encaustic wax. Hands-on to the point of sculptural, hands become tools, used to feel and feed the multiple layers. Paintings are literally actioned; brushed, incised, and heated, while simultaneously being melted into existence. This difficult yet versatile medium, provided Helen with a foundation for experimentation and an exploratory abstraction where a conversation occurs between artist, and artists past and present. Alive each painting encompasses its own unique properties and often incorporates textural layers of varying pigments, collaged materials, and found ephemera. When tempered, finished paintings distil a soft luminosity rich in blended textures and are often accompanied by the aromatic presence that is inherent in beeswax and damar tree resin.

Watch this four minute video about  Helen, her art practice and encaustic wax techiques here

Helen Keen Artist Video Encaustic
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