Helena Cox is an artist and curator of Czech origin (formerly known as Gaudekova), living in York, UK. She has also spent bits of her life in Japan and Sweden, popping over to the US every now and then.
Helena studied Fine Art and History of Art at the English College in Prague, Christ's Hospital School (UK) and the Private College of Design (CZ); and graduated from Charles University in Prague with BA (Hons) in 2011 and obtained her MA (Distinction) from the University of Central Lancashire (UK) in 2014.
Helena worked as a Curator of Japanese and Korean Art and Craft collection at the National Museum in Prague (2011-2014), as well as being a free-lance artist and traslator. She is currently a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of York, and works as a Curator at Beverley Art Gallery in East Yorkshire. She also enjoyes hanging around her husband's shop Pitch 22 - Records Books Art at 22 Fishergarte, York.
Helena's work carries a touch of her long-standing interest in Japanese traditional arts, transcending these into a sensitive openness towards the subtle language of moods, colours and structures. She has been interested in Japanese as well as European philosophy and aesthetics, and is intrigued by stimulating a dialogue between theoretical humanities (such as philosophy, psychology etc) and fine art. One of her projects included participation at university conferences and workshops where she painted in situ, finding a visual expression for what the speakers presented. Part of this desire to connect theory and practice forms a series of Helena's works playing with the motive of text; her text-art works use text as a kind of an ornament. Here text loses its legibility, its intellectual stiffness, and becomes a lively ornamental structure.
Her latest painting project deals with the motive of “ensō” 円相 the symbolic Zen circle. In Zen, the circle symbolises the fragile balance between the mind and the body, a moment of enlightenment and the overall harmony of the Universe. The motif also refers to our perception of time; sometimes the circle is incomplete to suggest the process of development in time. Helena takes inspiration from this symbolism and created a series of paintings featuring circles. She combines the traditional Japanese Zen symbol with a very Western style of abstract painting. The mingling of aesthetic traditions of Asia and the West is an important feature of Helena’s work. In this series Helena works mainly with acrylics and watercolours.
Helena also works with the medium of photography capturing mainly deprived urban environments. She is interested in the adverse side of urban life, and the contrast between the overcrowded cities and the loneliness of their inhabitants. She enjoys finding humour in the sterile language of street signs and various inscriptions found in urban landscapes, contrasting with the dynamics of human life.
In another recent project Helena took interest in the local history of North Wales, bringing vibrant colour and new freshness into half-forgotten images of the former Victorian seaside resorts.
Apart from her fine art and exhibition projects, Helena's work also includes commissions, such as bespoke flyers, leaflets and posters as well as logos, website designs, book-covers and illustrations.
Commissions always welcome.