With each new issue of our magazine we feature three artists in our banner space gallery. Our first featured artist for the Earth Child issue is the marvelous and sensuous work of artist and textile designer Helene Blanche.
Helene Blanche. 37. Textile designer. Married to Jannik, mother of 3 children, Johan Hugo, Silvia Blanche, Barbara Vera. Lives in Hellerup, near Copenhagen.
Tell us your story? How did you end up doing what you do?
I have always been passionate by the process of creating, to play with materials and to use my hands from a very young age. As a child I loved to play in the nature gathering flowers and leaves, to discover new materials, to press flowers in old books and to do small projects with paint, drawings, embroidery and knitwear. After graduating from high school I went to Holbæk Art School for half a year, to be in a creative environment amongst others, to learn some artistic skills and to expand my mind and world. Also because I had many doubts about what kind of education I should choose. I was so lost that I even believed that studying the law or economics was the right education for me. But luckily I was wrong. At the charming old art school I discovered the idea of Textile Design. At the age of 21 I went abroad to study textile design at The Central St. Martins, college of Art and Design. This was a fantastic and dreamy place, one amazing playground of creativity and creative people, and I loved being a student studying knitwear, weave and print.
Today I work as a textile designer, designing wallpaper, textiles, prints and illustrations. I work
both as freelance designer doing collaborations with Danish design brands, and I am also the head of design at the interior company TAPET-CAFE which is founded by my husbands family. Since 2003 It is being run by my husband Jannik and I. Jannik is very involved with interior projects and I work with design and production of textile and wallpapers. We both share the great passion for textiles, colours, materials and the tradition of good
craftsmanship. In my work, I create all drawing by hand I constantly experiment with drawing using a mix of charcoal, ink and watercolour, to create the first sketches to a pattern. I believe it’s important to discipline an open and playful work progress, so that the finished design is dynamic and vivacious. It’s not all about prettiness and perfection, but also about play and experimenting with colours and scale”.
What's the best part of doing what you do?
The best part of work is the playful process of research, designing and creating new patterns.
The worst part?
The worst part is that in general I am sometimes very unorganized, leave a big mess behind me, forget things, and that I am too optimistic with deadlines.
What makes you very happy?
To be amongst my family and friends, to be outside in the nature, to swim in the sea all year around, to laugh, eat, cook and to be around sweet, fun and intelligent people. I also enjoy complete silence, to look at art and to do yoga.
What are your future ambitions professionally?
I would like to do more collaboration. I dream about one day to create a flower print for the fashion catwalk.
3 words that capture the very essence of your artwork? Flowers. Peace. Childhood memories.
3 most important things to you when working? Inspiration, creativity, aesthetics.
3 best sources of inspiration? A walk in the nature- art exhibitions- and I am a great fan of visiting all sort of libraries to search for style history and to discover hidden treasures from the old achieves.
Why is art important to you? Art is important to me because it defines our way of living, how we approach life, and it how it makes us think. I love how it makes us discuss important subjects such as values, people and life.
Favorite thing about working with the theme? I wanted to create a flower wreath, which for me is a symbol of peace, play, love and nature. It brought back sweet childhood memories from when I was a young girl playing in the nature with my 3 younger sisters. We used to find flowers and leaves to make handmade flower wreaths to wear in our hair, or leave them on the tables at midsummer parties. Sometimes they would hang in our rooms for decoration or given as friendship gifts. Our Swedish grandmother would often take us hiking to seek for berries and mushrooms, while my grandfather was lecturing us about never to leave trash outside in the nature. I treasure these memories with great value and I understand that this was a part of learning to respect and take care of the nature. I believe it is important to teach the little ones from a young age to respect the earth, how to take care of the nature, recycle and change their habits and help the environment.
This is a quote I found in an old book:
“ Let us dance in the sun wearing wild flowers in our hair and let us huddle together as
darkness take over. We are at home amidst the birds and trees for we are children of nature”
Love for the earth.