The stories and memories are in every brushstrokes and marks.
Discover THE artist behind each piece from local artist Helen Wiese
Who are you?
I think that who you are is a result of your circumstances and how you react to those circumstances.
I was brought up in country NSW but now live in Sydney…so I have perspective that arises from both the country and the city. I studied nursing and spent many years working in health care settings so I understand much of what people go through when they may be at their lowest ebb.
I am a mother and a wife, so I know why it takes to be resilient! Don’t tell my husband I said that! And lastly, but certainly not least, I am an artist. I studied both a Cert lV in Design as well as undertaking Surface Design at the International School of Colour and Design and feel privileged to express myself through my artwork from my home studio.
Which 5 words best describe you?
Who Inspires you?
Having had a career in health, I would see people going through the most difficult circumstances and yet could still offer comfort, warmth, humour and generosity to others.
Sometimes it can be a simple gesture or a kind word that inspires me to do better and be kinder, more grateful and more generous.
Have you always been creative?
I have always been resourceful with a creative flair.
Growing up on the farm, we always had to use what was available, so if you wanted something, usually we had to make it. We’d paint cattle yards and Dad would make the farm equipment he needed. We’d sew, build cubby houses, cook and redecorate with items we found and had repurposed. I was always looking for something to channel my creativity into, but sometimes the practicality of farm life got in the way!
How did you become interested in Painting?
Following a family tragedy while I was studying design I found myself painting one day and totally lost myself in the moment. Painting was such a visual and tactile way for me to express myself and process my emotions, and to keep moving forward. It was a fabulous and essential therapy for me.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
The values and principles I live by today were instilled in me during my country upbringing, so as life takes its many twists and turns, I try to be true to myself. I’ve learned that I need to work hard, trust my intuition and embrace growth, development and explore possibilities with the help and support of my close family.
What’s been your best decision?
I’m not sure there is one best decision which I’ve made. Having a family is a roller coaster ride, it’s a decision which is both challenging and extremely rewarding. Having a career in nursing has given me skills and experience that I value greatly and which will continue to be useful in the long term.
Taking the opportunity to explore my creative side has been an important decision and I am looking forward to seeing where this journey goes.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?
I would have loved to meet Alburto Burri- an artist, painter and sculptor. Born in 1915 in Italy, he studied medicine before serving in the army during World War ll as a doctor. He was captured in Tunisia and sent to Texas as a prisoner of war where he began painting on discarded burlap and discarded fabric as a way to escape the reality and trauma of the war around him. Following his release, he returned to Italy and continued with his art practice, continuing to use burlap and creating compositions by using non traditional materials, experimenting with tar, plastic, fabric, oxide and PVC bringing together the art of sculpture and painting in his works. I remember seeing some of his works at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City with two unhappy children in tow, so I have always wanted to explore further his use of materials which evoke such personal and traumatic emotions.
What dream do you still want to fulfil?
Right now I am dreaming of the day where we can travel internationally again.
I really miss seeing family both within Australia and abroad.
Travelling challenges our comfort zones. It reveals things about yourself and the possibilities life has to offer. It stimulates, frightens, excites, teaches and inspires. I long for the adventure, the sounds, the smells and novel experiences. I love meeting new people and sampling their culture, food, art and music. There is something so memorable and enriching about experiencing the generosity of strangers, exploring new cities, landscapes, natural environments and all they have to offer.
What are you currently reading or listening to?
I listen to all sorts of music especially when I am painting. It ranges from indie, chill, funk, soul, 1980’s and 1990’s, sometimes a little jazz, rock , occasionally Emimen. It depends on my mood. I find a lot of inspiration and energy comes from music and I will often connect song lyrics to something I am painting. I am not sure if my lovely family and neighbours always appreciate my choices…maybe that’s why my family gave me Airpods!
I am currently reading The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri.