The University of Limerick has added a new piece to their art collection; an accordion-style book by Longford artist Helena Grimes, entitled ‘Every Soul Has A Dark Forest’.
Helena, daughter of Charlie and Helen, Dromard, is practicing in Limerick, where she lives with her partner Barry.
The 23-year-old graduated in 2014 from Limerick School of Art and Design with an Honours degree in Fine Art in Printmaking and since then, has been involved in over 15 exhibitions around Ireland and the world.
Having participated in the ‘Hyphae’ exhibition that ran in the Bourne Vincent Gallery in October, Helena was thrilled that the University expressed such an interest in her work.
“It is a huge honour for me, and for the the university to recognise my work in this way is a bit surreal. I am still processing it to be honest!” Helena admitted.
Acknowledging the support of curators Yvonne Davis and Patricia Moriarty, Helena went on to explain that ‘Every Soul Has A Dark Forest’ is one of her most ambitious pieces to date, being her first accordian-style book which holds the original pen marks on every page.
“It was a solid two months of drawing with nothing more than a fine tip pen. I had an idea in my mind how it would turn out and what path it would take but the imagery and layout kept changing.
“The drawings explore the mind. People’s struggles, deep thoughts and hidden anxieties. The darker parts of the mindfulness,” Helena continued.
“The animal form creeps up in my work frequently but my work is nearly always about people.
“I am constantly exploring society’s minds and its behaviours. I like to think of my work like fables.”
The youngest of six, Helena is a past pupil of St Patrick’s NS and Moyne Community School, and she happily added; “I have been very lucky and blessed to have been surrounded by encouraging peers through my very young years, from family to friends to teachers and neighbours. Many are still always keen to hear how I am getting on!”
Following on from this work, Helena, who also works as an illustrator, exhibited in the Belltable in Limerick City as part of the Limerick Printmakers 2015 Open Submission Exhibition.
At the moment, Helena’s work is largely based on commissions, Christmas cards and promotion, but she pointed out that she has plenty of ideas a nd ambitions for 2016, concluding, “I will keep drawing as long as the ink keeps flowing.”