Exhibition of new paintings by 

Helen Norton

at Monsoon Gallery Broome - July 11-20th 2008

The works from 'North-West Hologram' - Helen Norton's latest exhibition to be shown in Broome in July 2008 - grasp at threads of the eclectic life of the North West of Australia - a series of possible experiences and encounters, and tosses them onto the canvas in a vibrant and energetic game of composing through stripping time and order from recollection.   Perhaps this is just what the artist always does in any artistic rendition; however the artist has chosen to make the process more conscious to herself in this body of work

 “Layers of meaning are built up in the human imagination over time and with the help of various subjective records kept by the observers, analyzers, dreamers, complainers, artists, writers and philosophers that we are and combined with bits of selective factual data - an image is formed.

 All these gatherings are based on historical events and subjective reflections using our perspective and attitudes towards those events in the past.  The result is that often history is an overly edited residual fiction based mostly upon particular numinous events that have for some reason or another left a particular echo or footprint upon our memories about time and place.

 This seems a logical statement but what is worth pondering is that certain elements of this collection of echoes from the past hang in the air longer and more certainly than others.  Memories stick to attitudes.  Attitudes are shaped by the collection of our nature as well as our cultural training and our natures response to that.  What a complex material our memory ends up being. What drops off in the cutting or editing room of time and what lingers and forms cultural prisons and inspirations for us about any history – personal or collective?

What are these pieces of narrative we cling to, and how do they hang around in places, as scents of experience as tasted through our senses and stored in our memories?

 Passing by – hands out, beaks agape, feet planted, plants paw side up to the sun; the patterns that form and cluster into what we call the symbolic, chase nature as if an ordering of an aftershocks chaos - giving us comfort through reasoning.

 Nature is the symbolic; nature is chaotically ordered; nature is order.

 Mans mind nestles comfortably into the symbolic and so he falls naturally and eternally before the image of the ‘Overman’ he projects upon nature. How he experiences this inevitable  ‘fall’ depends upon his attitude and this will affect the entirety of his life’s experiences leading to how he remembers his time on earth, and as a result, how he wakes each morning and affects every other man, woman and child’s time on earth”.

Helen Norton June 2008


Helen's Opening Talk and photos