Helena Orlowski – painter-printmaker


Who I am: I’m an artist / printmaker / teacher working from my studio in rural Herefordshire. I’m Polish-Canadian but have lived a long time in the UK. I feel that my work crosses boundaries and cultures. I’m also a professional gardener! I trained as an artist at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, and the Warsaw Academy of Fine Art, Poland. I’ve worked in various Print Studios including St. Michaels Printshop, Newfoundland; the John Cass School of Art, London; and the Leicester Print Workshop. During my teaching days, I ran the Print Workshop at Wynstones Steiner School, Gloucester. I did my Art Teacher Training at UCL, Institute of Education, London.

What I do: Most of my work, but not exclusively, is in the medium of print following the traditional methods of intaglio (i.e. etching), relief printing, mono-print and typeset. Every subject I choose to explore and find response will invite a supporting method. Artistic media have innate qualities that can contribute to the subject and the manner in which it is expressed, so at times I will move away from the print method, as with the Kazimierz Series. This subject wanted light and transparencies to facilitate the joy I found in this normally sombre place. I found these qualities in soft pastel and watercolour.

What inspires me: The passing of time, history and its stories; it’s always shifting, changing and depends from which angle I look. Weather, mood, colour, sound all make their imprint. It’s frozen in the moment in my mind, my sketches, my view finder; that moment frozen in the land, the monument, it’s relics, it’s people.

Why I do it: Because I love it! It is my meditation; my way of making sense of the world around me; my way of finding the beauty. Of course, choosing the life of an artist is not an easy one. It has its consequences and my artist within will take the back seat when called for. As we well know love, family, children and living, all make their demands and so I too, have worked in more conventional areas, or maybe not so conventional, but the Art has always remained a force in my life. I feel fortunate I can practice more today.

My work this year: This winter I will continue to explore the relationship between Art and Music something that I became more conscious of in the Kazimierz Series – works in soft pastel, watercolour and graphite. My challenge is to finish an etching Geezhigo-Quae from Ojibway mythology – Spirit Woman.

Helena will be exhibiting as part of a joint show at Aardvark Books in Brampton Bryan, SY7 0DH
There is a cafe and a great range of books to explore, as well as country walks and the River Clun nearby