Helene Monjo

Location: Corsica
Bio:

Biography

Hélène Monjo (born 1969 in Libourne, France) resides and works in Corsica.
In 1986, she enrolled at the MJM interior design school in Nice. There, she found both artistic influences and techniques which fed her creativity.
In 1989 she joined her first artist studio on "le Vulcain", a private barge in Paris; she discovered and explored the basic concepts of oil painting, soon making her own pigment-based oils.
Her very first inspiration was water and she specialised in seascape paintings, faithfully reproducing real fishing boats. Empty boats, promises of an escape, a feeling of both humility and solitude against the immensity of the sea…
She also learned the techniques of portraiture as well as sculpture, using various materials such as wood and iron.
From 1995 to 2004, back in her childhood home in Corsica, she exhibited and sold her paintings, often using salvaged materials as canvases.
She worked at improving her techniques of oil painting, glazing and transparency.
Water and fishing boats remain her favourite mode of expression. Representing reality in backgrounds that come straight from her imagination: her buyers are thrust into to the serenity of her sceneries.
She shares her art through collective exhibitions and creates her own diffusion network; she surrounds herself with insular artists who share her values of independence and freedom.
In 2005 she began a more introspective exploration and put aside collective exhibitions.
She decided to free herself from sketches and let go of layouts. She endeavoured to discover the creative process from and through improvisation.
She managed to express her line of thought without forethought nor intent.
She developed a new technique, using an abstract base made from fillers and pigments, which gives a subtle freedom to movement, balance, superimposing… The scenes of her work settle on a mineral-like core, inspired by Corsican granite rocks and sea foam and spray.
This is where a multitude of strange figures appear to her, seeming to emerge from the mineral, the textures and layers of filler.
The shapes are slightly suggested and it is the eye of the observer that will imagine a face, a gaze or a human-like posture. The representation of this humanity vibrates from the emotions and feelings of the observer. The expression of feelings passes through alterity and the encounter of the other.
She seems to ask this question : Alone, would we be capable of feelings? Softly, she reveals her deeper thoughts, sincere and personal.
Throughout the years, she has also designed, developed or taken part in concepts of unusual living spaces, whether privately (interior design) or publicly (restaurants, bars, exhibition and concert venues).
She has created and given life to emblematic places in Southern Corsica, integrating human spaces within natural spaces, always tuned to the environment and its vibration.
Today, sculpting is also back on the scene. How do we look at the world, at ourselves? From which point of view do we observe humanity?
Can the artist influence today’s world?
From the giant scale of her "Hermitage" to a series of works which transform our daily objects, she now wishes to immerse us in a sensory experience, novel and introspective…