Helen Hallows, Artist

Helen Hallows is a mixed media artist based in Long Eaton where she has a studio at the bottom of her garden.  Inspired by her environment she creates art works in ink, collage and stitch that capture the forces of nature and the transient beauty of life. Helen will be bringing some of her work to my NGS Open Garden & Secret Craft Fair in June.

I first met Helen about a year ago at The Refectory Table, we’ve kept in touch since and Helen loaned one of her works to Pete and I when we hosted an event for Crafts Council in our home.  It was lovely having the work for a few days and I’m really looking forward to seeing more.

I asked Helen about her work, and gardens.

What are you currently excited about/involved in?  I have rediscovered my love for the writing of DH Lawrence and that is putting me in touch with my local landscape.  His poems are evoking wonderful images for me.  He writes beautifully about colour and I am using that to inspire new landscape work.

How does your garden inspire what you make or do?  Since having a studio in the garden I am more inspired than ever by my garden as a metaphor for simple domestic pleasures.  I over look the chicken coop and birds visit the veg patch just outside my window.  Their humble routines inspire me.

What are you bringing to the secret craft fair? I will be bringing original framed works inspired by my garden as well as cards and a new range of decorative tiles on a garden theme.  There will be a little treat for garden lovers too.

We all have memories and experiences of gardens, what is your –

Earliest memory? The overwhelming smell of tomatoes in my Grandma’s humid greenhouse.

Strangest happening? A beautiful blue tit flew in to my studio doors recently and really klonked his beak.  He stood in a daze and I really thought he would die.  I moved him in to the greenhouse to recover out of harms way.  We shared a moment…I have always been a bit scared of handling birds.  It was strange just how light he was, like a puff of air, how there and not there.

Happiest time? Building dens with the children in the communal garden on the street where I grew up.

Finally, what sort of a gardener are you?  Oh, I am at my happiest when gardening!  I feel at peace and totally connected to all that really matters, growing, nurturing, creativity.  I have a large garden with a vegetable plot outside my studio.  This year I have dug up some flowers to make more room for vegetables and I’m looking forward to my cosmos growing amongst the broad beans.  The greenhouse is rammed with seedlings waiting to brave the summertime!  We have two allotments and a plot in the communal poly-tunnel.  The aim is self-sufficiency!  At this time of year there aren’t enough hours in the day.  I couldn’t live without a garden.

You can see and purchase work by Helen Hallows and other artists at the 2013 NGS Open Garden & Secret Craft Fair in Loughborough, Leicestershire.

Website  www.helenhallows.com

Facebook  www.facebook.com/HelenHallowsStudio