Helen Carnac


I have always considered drawing to be a most significant part of my work and intrinsic to my practice as a metalworker and enameller. Over the last ten years my work has developed markedly with over-riding concerns of line, mass and landscape continually recurring. I aim to develop new ways of working where the drawn image is the focal point in a union of two-dimensional and three-dimensional works.

This ongoing series of work is an expression of my fascination with mark-making in both two and three dimensions. I aim to record not only my thought process but also the connection of hand, eye and mind in a non-verbal discourse, whilst highlighting the cyclical nature of my making process and the marks and rhythms of my drawing process, which resonate and confer with my object-making processes. Repetition of mark is key and enables me to focus. I work mostly with vitreous enamels on steel. My primary aim is to draw with the material leaning towards techniques such as sgraffito.

The combination of materials and my drawing methods have led to an ongoing body of works that I find rewarding and demanding. Firing for the most part only once, areas of the panels are ground and abraded to a matt finish in places, allowing the steel substrate to oxidise naturally, creating new relationships with the enamel; a crossing point between control and chance.
The work shown in the exhibition explores my over-riding concern with line, repetition, rhythm and drawing.


Born
1968, Redruth, Cornwall

Education
1990-1994 BA (Hons) Silversmithing, Jewellery and Allied Craft, London Guildhall University, Sir John Cass
1993 Fachhochschule fur Gestaltung, Schwabisch Gmund,  Germany
 
Awards 
2009 Cultural Leadership Development Award: Cultural Leadership programme.
2008 Innovation in enamelling, Playing with Fire Exhibition, UK
2008 Third prize Juried exhibition, Metal Inclinations, USA
1996 Winner Carroll Foundation Award, Chelsea Crafts Fair
1996 Selected Index, Crafts Council
1996 Membership, Contemporary Applied Arts
1995 Runner-up Carroll Foundation Award
1995 Setting Up Grant, Crafts Council

Selected Exhibitions
2009 In Transit…84GHz, Munich
Collect, Saatchi gallery, London
Cluster, Installation at Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco
Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh
2008 In response to…84GHz, Munich
Elizabeth Turrell+Helen Carnac, University of East Carolina
Playing With Fire, Juried Exhibition, Devon Guild of Craftsmen and touring
2007 Process Works, 5 Jewellers: University of Hertfordshire Galleries and touring, catalogue
Medals: curated by Elizabeth Turrell: Museum fur Arbeit, Hamburg and touring, catalogue
Anti War Medals, Gallery I/O, Thomas Mann, New Orleans.
Collect at the V&A
2006 Collect at the V&A
2004 Anti War Medals exhibition, Curated by Velvet Da Vinci,  Touring: Electrum, London Norway and USA
2003 Celebrating Education, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
David Gates and Helen Carnac, Flow, London
 
Commissions
2007 Co-curator with Craftspace of National touring exhibition ‘Slow’
2005 Collaborative commission with David Gates: Permanent installation of Furniture with enamel for Bilston Craft Gallery: Wolverhampton City Art Galleries
2005 Lead Artist Artquest, London: Forum project: lead debate on Contemporary Craft practice

Publications
‘Enamel Experiece’ UWE, 2007, ISBN  978-1-906501-00-6
Process Works 5 Jewellers, Jan 2007, Site Projects, ISBN 13 978—0-9554379-1-5
Diaspora Cymreig, Makers of welsh origin working outside of Wales:
Publisher: Denbighshire County Council, Ruthin Craft Centre (28 Mar 2002) ISBN-10: 1900941503, ISBN-13: 978-1900941501

Exhibitions

Archive

2009

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