Meet Helen Wilson
Helen Wilson studied Sculpture (BA Hons) at Camberwell College of Arts. She is one of ten UAL alumni to be selected for the 2015 Catlin Guide. Here she tells us about her time at Camberwell, how she got involved in the Catlin Guide, and what she has planned for the future.
Why did you choose to study sculpture at Camberwell College of Arts?
After being advised that if I wanted to study fashion I would need to start making clothes that were wearable, I realised that a sculpture course may offer me more freedom. While at Camberwell I enjoyed having the framework of ‘sculpture’ rather than ‘fine art’ as it gave me a boundary to push against and really question where what I was making really sat within the art world.
How would you describe your time studying there?
A long, hard although mightily enjoyable three years of thinking, playing and trying to understand what art is and why we do it!
What are your best memories?
Gallery Wednesdays with our tutor Rob who would march the class around the streets of London; popping into galleries and inspecting the subtleties of the artwork. Also, our seminars in first year with Paul O’Kane were a real eye and mind opener.
What were the greatest difficulties you faced during the course? And what did you learn from them?
Having to question everything… And from that I learnt not to question everything.
How did you come to be shortlisted for the Catlin guide? And tell us about the work that has been shortlisted?
The Catlin Guide showcases 40 recent BA, MA and MFA graduates from around the UK and are chosen based on degree show work. My work exhibited at Camberwell was called ‘Carol’ and consists of a video of myself projected onto a wooden cut-out in the format of a Tensator Virtual Assistant seen (and usually ignored) at airports and train stations. I mime over recorded audio of Carol, a gallery warden, as she rants about the art world and how she is saddened by the system she’s found herself in. You can see snippets of this piece here.
What are your plans for the future (Immediate and long distance)?
My current work is based around the idea of the portable studio- lugging my art, tools and materials with me, allowing me to create as I draw inspiration from my surroundings. You can see upcoming dates on my website. With time I hope to widen the circle of portable studio goers, re-creating the best bits of art school- the discussions, crits and the urgency to make.
I am also experimenting with how to enjoy the task of making a living, developing some performances based around the idea of waiting, starting with becoming a street statue performer.
What/who are your biggest inspirations?
At the moment, tour guides.