Helen Wright’s pencil drawings of labyrinthine architectural structures emphasise the fragile balance between humanity and the natural world. Her teetering piles of built and industrial detritus project a sense of precariousness, as if the removal of one element threatens the indiscriminate destruction of the collective whole. The structures in the drawings recall the Biblical Tower of Babel in which an ambitious society sought to construct an unparalleled architectural wonder, ultimately doomed to fail as the protagonists could not communicate. A parable to explain the thousands of human languages spoken in the world, the story also illustrates the impossibility of successfully constructing something in the absence of collective understanding. Wright’s drawings are monuments to human folly that stand as cautionary tales against egocentric hubris and the defiance of nature.
Born in Sydney in 1956, Helen completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Tasmanian School of Art between 1977 and 1979. The following year she undertook a Post Graduate Diploma of Visual Arts at the Alexander Mackie School, Sydney and in 1986 began a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Tasmania, Hobart.
Helen has tutored at several tertiary colleges including the Tasmanian School of Art, and was part-time lecturer in printmaking at the University of Tasmania between 1991 and 1999. A founding member of the Chameleon Studios and Contemporary Art Space, Hobart; in 1989 she was artist in residence at the Verdaccio Studio, Italy.
Wright's work is included in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Helen currently lives and works in Tasmania.