I've been wanting to have a chat with today's Meet and Greet guest for a while, Helen Stafford's work with print on glass is stunning, here's what she has to say about it.
Use five words to describe your work:
What makes your work different from anyone elses?
I focus on heritage and the deep emotional connections people can develop with their past, and in particular with old machinery. I try to explain these connections by using my own experiences and family history as examples, so I am directly involved in my work. My work is not "cutting-edge" contemporary art, it's more searching for a way I can translate my love for the past so that it is understood by the present, and in turn preserved for the future.
If you had to work in any other medium, what would it be?
Probably paper, I would like to go back to basics at some point and spend some time just improving my printing skills. However, since using metal frames in a piece I made last year, I think I'd like to investigate how to utilise metal further somehow. Thoughts for the future!
What is the biggest challenge you face with your work?
Practically or emotionally? Practically, everything is currently on a strict timeframe. The drawings alone take a ridiculous amount of time to produce and screenprinting - while theoretically straightforward - has a nasty habit of being your worst nightmare. Emotionally, I am probably the laziest person in the world, so I find I really have to discipline myself to keep motivated. I don't often deviate in my interests, but I do very often prefer sleeping! So at the moment the biggest challenge I face is just bringing it all together without any major disasters or mental breakdowns!
How do you want people to react to your work?
I'm hoping to encourage a genuine interest in the past. I want people to remember things that aren't around anymore and I want them to think about what would happen if these things were lost forever. I've focussed on machinery because it's a personal interest, but the idea of preservation can be stretched to all manner of objects. I would like people to feel they can relate to my images and share a sort of "nostalgic fondness", if you like
Helen will be exhibiting her work at her degree show at the National Glass Centre between the 16th and the 22nd of June. If you would like to contact her, her email is email@example.com or you can have a look at her pro facebook page.