Helen Michie | Shoreline
Right from the outset during and after her time at Gray’s School of Art, Helen Michie was determined to include a range of materials or disciplines in her art making. For her, painting, ceramics, mosaic or sculpture were all equally valid and to be embraced. This need for creative freedom has left Helen open to many opportunities throughout her varied career.
Here in the Shoreline exhibition Helen brings together Raku wall pieces, stoneware bowls, porcelain forms and mixed media paintings made in response to Scotland’s west coast and in particular our local area in which she has lived and worked for over 20 years.
In bringing these disciplines together Helen considers:
‘The co-existence of fragility, transience and ephemeral beauty alongside the strength and permanence found in nature, light and the elements …
The use of the Raku firing method captures this concept by its very nature. The process is influenced by the weather on the day of firing and the smoked decorative markings are caught or lost in an instant.
The stoneware pieces aim to echo the essence of the coastal rocks contrasting with the fluidity and movement of the ebbing sea and the paintings are my response to the textures, colours and atmosphere of the shoreline environment.
The exhibition has given me an inspiring framework to enable each material, clay and paint, to be used simultaneously and a natural process of cross over between the qualities of the materials has taken place.”
In her desire to ‘capture a moment in time’ Helen can be seen to be reflecting the values, aesthetic form, and philosophy of many Contemporary Japanese Ceramicists. Whether it is in the Zen like process of Raku, the interactions of the glazes in the stoneware, movement caught in the porcelain or the creative textural transformation that occurs between the paint, mediums, and gels in the paintings, we are offered an opportunity to be transported into the transcendence of the Shoreline.