Venue | Devenish Gallery | 14 September - 31 October | Launch 14 September at 7pm

Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.

FLIVE is proud to showcase the work of Wexford based artist and sculptor Helen Merrigan Colfer whose remarkable equine sculptures and unique figurative pieces are held in Arts Council NI’s permanent collection and are prized by owners in Ireland, America and Europe. Helen uses a resin medium which is built up gradually and hand-modelled over steel armatures. Each piece is then painted using handmade oil paints before being embedded into a granite base. The work is invariably inventive, touching and profoundly personal.

Helen explains how, as an artist who has prosopagnosia or face blindness, she relies on her emotional reactions to self-identity. “I live and work on the tip of the Hook Head Peninsula almost within the shadow of the Hook Lighthouse. I have seen firsthand how the ocean, gales and driving rain pound and reshape our coastal rock. I believe that we too are pounded and reshaped by our immediate environment and most especially by the people who surround us. Our early emotional, psychological and physical experiences can have long reaching affects for good or bad. How we present ourselves to others is dependent on how we feel about ourselves in our own mind.

If it is negative, we can react differently to those who seem to have only experiences of being loved, protected and valued. We perform daily, put on costumes, hide behind masks, fearing that we don’t belong, constantly in a state of flux. Many of us submerge ourselves in nature because nature doesn’t judge; it is a haven, open, honest and totally accepting. With nature you don’t have to pretend to be something else.

My sculptures are fragments of a much larger scape created by a fragile mind, giving it a visual language, allowing people to read into them, start conversations or even superimpose their own narrative.