Helen Wyatt is a contemporary jewellery artist who references Australian landscape and places. The journal is a vibrant collection of Helen’s creative experiments and her observations in her work about community and diversion. Consisting of her self-imposed task sessions, “indolence/focus/diversion/community”, Helen explored a way to “savour” through collage. Two important 2020 issues documented in Helen’s journal are Black Lives Matter and the Hand Medal Project (medals honouring health workers).
We asked Helen three questions about her experience of isolation, completing this journal and her hope for the future. These are her responses:
Describe the experience of the period of isolation for you.
A time for reassessing; for indulging in diversions without guilt; for uninterrupted focus, and for strengthening relationships. I also came to really value being at home and that I had a home to play in. It meant a lot that I could keep in touch with family & friends and be able to structure my day with exercise, making and nourishing others.
What does your book represent and how did you approach the challenge?
The book captures this experience under the headings: indolence, focus, community and diversion. In creating those ‘sections’ the task became meaningful to me and I hope it remains so for others. While feeling initial pressure to make the mundane interesting, I came to really value the opportunity to document my experience. It was as a way of savouring the period - it has been a significant moment for our worlds - large and small.
What do you hope will change in Australia as a result of the pandemic?
I would like to think the community connections will continue to be strong ones with the associated concern for others being embedded locally.
I hope individuals & organisations are rethinking the world as a travel playground and that people will be more mindful of the impacts.
I’d like to think there was widespread recognition that this contagion has an intimate relationship to environmental destruction, global consumption and competition.
I’d like to see cooperative government flourish - in Australia, for a while, that has happened
Helen Wyatt explores the layers of human impact on particular places. Her wearable forms reference landscape, traces of habitation and question what lies beneath the surface. Helen Wyatt holds a Master of Visuals Arts (Research). She has exhibited at Artisan, Brisbane, at Bridget Kennedy Project Space, Sydney, as part of the Contemporary Jewellery Biennial, Shanghai 2018-19. She exhibited in JMGA Profile ’19 at Australian Design Centre and is touring work in JMGQ Use across parts of Australia. She is also a Visual Arts writer and curator of the Window Gallery – F Tanner Baker Micro-Galleries in Sydney.
View Helen Wyatts' journal here:
Image: Helen Wyatt, Design/Isolate Journal (detail), 2020.