Drouin-based artist Helen Timbury will be opening her first solo Melbourne show, Sky Above Me, tonight at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre in Melbourne.
Helen works with lino prints and is a popular feature at local arts markets. Long-time readers might remember her from our piece on the dyslexia exhibition held in Warragul in 2015.
We sat down with Helen to discuss her new exhibition. We have a transcript of the first few questions below, or you can watch the full interview above or by clicking here.
What’s actually going on at the art space? How did you get involved?
The Queen Vic centre puts on all kinds of shows and talks for women and also has this non-commercial art space which you can apply for. It’s a lovely corridor right down the centre of the old refurbished building.
We have a lot of quite big-name artists in the area who exhibit regularly in Melbourne. Is this one of the more prominent exhibitions you have done?
For me it’s a solo, and it’s also a survey. There’s a bit of a catalyst which got this show going, and it was actually the death of a friend. The friend died in January, and it made me want to make a certain piece of artwork. I started on the artwork and there was a lot of thinking but not a lot of doing. Then I heard of this place and everything sort of came together, and I said ‘okay, I’m having this show in this place.’ And it’s more or less a small survey of what I have been doing with my artwork for the last few years of my life, and I realised that a lot of it is about the outdoors and wide open skies and out country and landscape and I really just want to celebrate that.
What was the piece you did in response to their death?
There was moment I spent with some other friend. We were out camping, all in deckchairs, looking up at the sky, looking at the stars, and someone started complaining that their neck hurt. So we went and got a tarp and a blanket and we put it down on the grass and lay under a doona and stared up at the stars, and it was such an enjoyable experience. It was fun, it was quite informative, and we didn’t know at the time but this friend would not be with us two days later. That’s really sad, but this moment became quite an important moment and it was sort of like a flash point where you think ‘well, you know, you have to celebrate what you’ve got and get on with good times and not worry about what you’re always going to be doing in the future. For me it was a lurch forward into ‘hurry up and make some more work, exhibit it, and do what you love doing.’