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HelenA Pritchard

 Monday, 12th March, 2018

The evolution of objects

Why art?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in colours and relational aesthetics (human relations and their social context). When I was a child I used to make still lives of objects in the house; jewellery, Tupperware and consumer products that responded to colour. I would then photograph them on backgrounds of coloured paper. This was a way of creating through control and attribute to a temporal experience, conducted with a Kodak point and click.


Tell us a bit about ‘To Make a Sculpture’ which recently won the (first ever!) ES Contemporary Art Prize.

I entered that painting as it represented a changing point in my work. I wanted to remember the disorder and that I never wanted to work like that again. It epitomised a freedom from giving myself constraints. As strange as it sounds, my work is all about these dualisms. The painting is a departure and the liberty to change.

The title To Make a Sculpture, was about my objective if I won the prize.


If you were to judge the contemporary art prize, what would you look for?

Manipulation of material, objective, dexterity and transformative qualities.


What encouraged you to work with everyday found objects?

''A pair of socks is no less suitable to make a painting with than wood, nails, turpentine, oil and fabric'' a quote by Rauschenberg.

An obsession with objects, materiality, and our relation to them.

As a starting point, they are provocative whether painted, sculpted or made into assemblage these object trouvés trigger an inventiveness that are reflective on our society. They bestow histories and are mystical.

It is hard to imagine an art world without objects. There is a social responsibility and awareness when you work with discarded materials. If not situational then what?


What messages do you like to portray throughout your artwork?

Mmm not sure about message per se, however there is fun, humour, hard work, learning, enjoyment, hardship and ideas. People should form their own views and create their own meanings and messages; there is no right or wrong. We all differ.


What/who do you consider your biggest inspiration?

Inspirations are ever-changing. The work is somewhat thematic so there is a different objective but I maintain core materials and principles.

Every day things, conversations.

Form, colour, space, place, plants and patterns.

Water fluidity and rhythm.


Modernism, architecture and transformation.

Cultural situations of now and the didactic of evolution, and theories of opposites.


Can you tell us about ‘Not The Actual Size’ and the idea behind it?

The title of the exhibition refers to the fact that some of the sculptures are maquette’s, and some are meant for a different medium desired.

It derives from a rather large ikea billboard of a hot dog advertisement, with the words "not the actual size”. I guess there is stupidity within our society where we have to state this message. So with that in mind, should we then say ‘not the actual material’, too?

Anyway, there is humour in this idea. The title also relates to a particular image in the exhibition which is of the same title, it is the only figurative work in the exhibition.


How important is the connection between the exhibition space and environment to the materials and art?

Where you place a sculpture in relation to another art work is fundamental. It provides a context. What is sculpture without space? You have to consider this in a rather theatrical and mathematical sense. I am always arranging objects and sculptures within accordance to people and place; space and things surround. These formal connections. Balance!


Helen Pritchard's 'Not The Actual Size' will be displayed in the Gallery until Sunday 18th March.