Firstly Welcome and Thank you for coming out to support Helene Leane's first solo exhibition, Lino & Lace (based on the interior of Newcastle's Miss Porter's House) here at Gallery 139. For those of you who do not know me, I'm Ahn Wells and this is my gallery. I opened it in February this year because I wanted to be more involved in presenting group exhibitions and supporting artists who I believe have long term art careers, which brings us to Helene Leane. Who is now represented by Gallery 139. YAY!
I first became aware of Helene through her work as a printmaker. I have over my time, which I know looking at me doesn't seem THAT long, but I've actually been around the Newcastle's art scene since I started my art studies here in 1996, seen her work develop and I have watched her progression as an artist. She has over the years perfected the monotype process and made it her own. I think one could easily mistake them for paintings on paper, if you didn't know this printmaking process, which is why I think Helene is able to translate this same quality into her paintings. Her paintings pull you towards them, so you are lost in their misty softness but when you step back, new pockets of colours and patterns draw you back in. I find it especially with this large work here, Space Lace. I have been able to sit on the black chair when I need a rest and literally get lost in it's space. It's the same with the encaustic works on the back wall. There are so many interesting layers that seem to change every time I look at them. It's like with all the work and that's the great thing about owning the gallery, I get to be surrounded by all these beautiful works for 3 weeks and I hope you all come back for better look until the 20th June.
Congratulations Helene Leane for putting together such an amazing and thoughtful exhibition. I'm looking forward to working with you as an artist and I also think your a beautiful person whose happiness and generosity shines through in your work. Thank you for presenting to me such a professional body of work, that there was nothing I wanted to vito and I have even acquired a new piece for my own collection.
A few quick thank yous, go out to Paul and Sharon (again!) for helping with install on Monday and to Kerri Smith for taking time to visit the exhibition before it opened and to write the piece on the back of the catalogue and on the website.
Finally thanks to my man, Dan for manning the drinks! And please join us next Saturday, when Helene will talk about her work and the exhibition.
Remember to visit Miss Porter's House on it's monthly OPEN DAY on Sunday 14 June between 1-4pm at 454 King St Newcastle West.
~ Ahn Wells