Emma Helle (b.1979) is a sculptor who casts the spotlight on the marginalized creatures usually relegated to secondary status in art history. She portrays cherubs and feminine sprites in the starring role, as active agents. Relaxed, unpretentious and generous in her style of portrayal, she lends soft, curvaceous shapes to the feminine bodies with a breadth and richness of expression that evokes canonical works from art history. Throughout the ages, there have always been specific conventions that have dictated the portrayal of the human body, a legacy that Helle addresses through a dual lens of art history and corporeality.
There is more to her ceramic figures: each one has a unique personality that shines through in the fine details. Adorned with pastel accents, each of her figures is recognizable for its distinctive gestures, expressions, and one-of-a-kind characteristics. The exuberant glazed surfaces highlight her mischievous, cheeky forms. The artist’s choice of material is also significant in relation to the content. Being a material traditionally used by women and artisans, clay carries a special meaning when transplanted in an art gallery, a space reserved for high culture.
Helle is a graduate of the Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts. Her work is represented in many private and public collections including the State Art Collection, the Helsinki Art Museum HAM, and the Pro Artibus collection. She has had several solo exhibitions including the Turku Art Museum, and she has taken part in group exhibitions at the Mänttä Art Festival, Kunsthalle Helsinki and the Espoo Museum of Modern Art EMMA.Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Forsblom