Helen Carnac

My work considers and is consumed by paths, lines, marks and time…in no particular order they run alongside and across each other. My approach to material comes from a background in making and the use of my primary material, metal, from which my handling and use of a wide range of materials is considered. I am interested in my work being centered self-consciously on the explicit connection between material, process and maker, with an emphasis on deliberation and reflection.

‘On the Line’ is a series of 20 pieces: each is a fleeting visit to my studio and the time at which they were composed, made in response to the material. The main material used is vitreous enamel on steel. This particular enamel is an industrial process type, most often seen used for kitchen white wear, baths and famously London underground signage. I have also used enamel white board and materials which have been found or recycled from other projects. Some of the pieces are marked and drawn on, and within the work the viewer and wearer will also find left over marks, new marks and continuation of old marks.

Born  1968, Redruth, Cornwall

1994–present  Artist, curator, independent academic and writer: I work from my studio in South London making work and developing projects. My aim is to work independently but in collaboration with academics and artists from different fields.

 Accredited professional coach, Cultural Leadership Programme
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

  Shortlisted Wesley Barrell Craft Award. 
2009/10  Cultural Leadership Partners: Artist Leadership Development Fellowship
2008  Innovation in enamelling, UK
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
 The Tool at Hand, Milwaukee Art Museum, USA and touring
Intelligent Trouble at the Institute of Making, London
Drawing, Permanence, Place, Kunstverein, Coburg.
SOFA New York, CAA
Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London
2010   Under The Counter, Smiths Row Gallery
Intelligent Trouble, CAA, London
SOFA New York, with CAA
Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London with CAA
2009  In Transit…84GHz, Munich
Collect, Saatchi gallery, London with Contemporary Applied Arts
Cluster, Installation, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco
2008  In response to…84GHz, Munich
Elizabeth Turrell and Helen Carnac, University of East Carolina, USA
Playing With Fire, Juried Exhibition, Devon Guild of Craftsmen and touring
Collect, V&A, with CAA
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

 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

  Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution,  
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
2011  Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, USA
St Lucas, Antwerp
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Jerwood Foundation, London
Cubitt, London
California College of the Arts, San Francisco
2010  Chelsea College of Art
Penland, North Carolina, USA
Strelka, Moscow
Sheffield, UK
Stroud International Textiles
2009  Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, Slow Revolution 




Search the site