Helen Carnac

Helen Carnac is a maker, curator and academic who lives and works in London.Drawing, mark-making, the explicit connections between material, process and maker and an emphasis on deliberation and reflection are all central to her practice as a maker and thinker.

Running an environmentally grounded practice, Carnac develops projects using design methodologies that are rooted in an acute awareness of physical location, place and working practices. The populated environment is of key importance and through her practice and projects she aims to bring people together, creating social and creative engagement and collaboration in an open-ended design process.

Carnac’s early education was in making, in metal, where she developed a curiosity about how things are made and how making is a form of thinking. Her ongoing concerns are process-based, which means that often, if there is an outcome, it may be an event rather than a product, a resting point rather than an end point.

Since 2007 she has run the project ‘Making a Slow Revolution’ which aims to provide a forum for open discussion around the contribution of contemporary making and design to some of the philosophies presented within the Slow Movement. With particular development in thinking about place, provenance, co-design, relational methodologies, collaboration, gestational and layered time of  processes, waste streams and walking, upcycling, mutability of life cycle and dialogue and conversation.

Her work is held in International collections and she has given talks recently at: CCA, California; Strelka, Moscow; Pratt, Seattle; Sint Lucas, Antwerp and Chelsea College of Art, London. She is taking up

Born  1968, Redruth, Cornwall

 Accredited professional coach, CLP and Relational Dynamics
1994  BA (Hons) Silversmithing, Jewellery and Allied Craft, London Guildhall University
1993  Fachhochschule fur Gestaltung, Schwabisch Gmund, Germany
1990  B.T.E.C HND Design Crafts, Plymouth College of Art & Design.
1988  Art Foundation, Newport College of Art and Design

 Cultural Leadership Partners: Artist Leadership Development Fellowship
2008  Innovation in enamelling, UK
Third prize Juried exhibition, Metal Inclinations, USA
1996  Winner Carroll Foundation Award
Selected Index, Crafts Council
Membership, Contemporary Applied Arts
1995  Runner-up Carroll Foundation Award

Selected Exhibitions
 Drawing, Permanence, Place, Kunstverein, Coburg. Catalogued and touring
SOFA New York
Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London
Host, Velvet da Vinci, CA, USA
2010  Under The Counter, Smiths Row Gallery
Intelligent Trouble, CAA, London
Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London with CAA
2009  In Transit…84GHz, Munich
Collect, Saatchi gallery, London with Contemporary Applied Arts
Cluster, Installation at Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco
Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh
2008  In response to…84GHz, Munich
Elizabeth Turrell and Helen Carnac, University of East Carolina
Playing With Fire, Juried Exhibition, Devon Guild of Craftsmen and touring
Collect, V&A, with Contemporary Applied Arts
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

 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

Public Collections
  Museum of Art and Design New York
Rotasa Foundation, California, USA
2005  Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin, USA

Public Commissions
 Collaborative commission with David Gates: Permanent installation of Furniture with enamel for Bilston Craft Gallery: Wolverhampton City Art Galleries
Lead Artist, Artquest, London: Forum project: lead debate

  Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution, Editor, 500
Enameled Objects, Lark Books
The Compendium of Contemporary Makers, Darling Publications, Germany,
2007   ‘Enamel Experience’ UWE,
Process Works 5 Jewellers, Jan 2007, Site Projects
2002 Diaspora Cymreig, Makers of welsh origin working outside of Wales: Publisher: Denbighshire County Council, Ruthin Craft Centre (28 Mar 2002)

Selected Talks
 St Lucas, Antwerp Marking Place: collecting, curating, sifting ideas.
California College of the Arts, San Francisco
2010  Chelsea College of Art: Slow Design, The Burberry project
Strelka, Moscow: The Diversity of One Design Practice
Sheffield, UK
Stroud International Textiles
Metropolitan Works, London
2009  Central St Martins/Camberwell College HYP 3 Research Group, London
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, Slow Revolution




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