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Helena Hartmann

MA work

I am a sculptor, performer, illustrator, classical singer and artist film maker and I would like to introduce you to the content of my work.

I would describe my characters as neurotic, paranoid, loveable, psychotic, sad, odd, quirky, versatile, fascinating, frantic, lonely, isolated, infantile, obsessive, tidy, maniac, insane, scared, confused, freakish, extraordinary, idiosyncratic, unique, intelligent, anxious, human, honest, schizo-, cruel, sinister and incredibly intriguing. I observe them carefully.

'Loneliness, Bondage/Imprisonment, Childhood, Allure, Love, Mastery/Control, Fear, Perfection, Mistaken, Suffering, Ludicrousness, Power/Might, Escape
The Sublime
The Uncanny
I fabricate a lot of different characters.
They often have to deal with Uncomfortableness.
They have to grapple with Discomfort.
They struggle within this kind of Anxiety.
The imperative of this suffering, of this struggle makes them vulnerable.
Vulnerability makes them manlike.
Including chunks of humour they reach some kind of lightness.
I give them a playground and they begin to play.
They don’t know what they have to expect.
Naive and unbiased playfulness ‘twill unsettle often.'


  • MA Degree


    School of Humanities


    MA Sculpture, 2015

  • I can’t grasp the content behind Mike Kelley’s work anymore and I think that is the problem’s solution! In my mind Mike Kelley finally demonstrates to us that there is no solution. He provides us a broad range of (personal) idiosyncrasies, social images and adopts the role of a prophet who feeds us with theories, belief systems and ideologies. He provokes us to reflect and to criticise the system. And he wraps everything in a bloody charming, sarcastic and visually stunning epos. And isn’t that what we as artists want: to shake, rattle and roll the senses of an audience and whirl the general outlook on life? To bring chaos into the system, to change old moral values and to be aware of the double standards of our society? That’s Mike Kelley’s and my intention, that’s our concept, our common thread behind our art work and that’s why we can be classified as mangling conceptual artists.

  • Degrees

  • BFA Sculpture, Aki Enschede, 2010
  • Experience

  • Assistant prop master at Thalia-Theatre Hamburg, 2004–5:
  • Exhibitions

  • Pause Patina, Camden Arts Centre, London, April 2015; Stewarts Law RCA Secret, London, March 2015; Screening of 'Latching Firm' at Alserkal Avenue Gallery, Dubai and Camden Arts Centre, London, 2015; Fringe!, Queer Film and Arts Fest, London, November 2014; My Vocabulary Did This to Me by Artist Dina Danish, South London Gallery, London, November 2014 (performance); Visualise, Royal Academy of Music Piano Festival, Piano Gallery, York Gate Museum, London, June 2014; Screening of Rainbow Limbo, Artist Pic Nic + Q & A Session, HUB - Area, Royal College of Art, South Kensington, London, June 2014; RCA Secret, London, March 2014; MMMMMonday, Dyson Gallery, London, February 2014; Work in Progress Show, Royal College of Art, London, February 2014; Stockholm Fringe Festival 2013, August 2013; Der Kürzeste Tag, in collaboration with Marielle Meijerinck and Fiona Weide, Germany/France, October 2012; Ocean-Opera, in collaboration with Bernd Sikora, Berkelkraftwerk Vreden, Germany, 2012; The Big Summerexhibition, Communal Museum, The Hague, Netherlands, June–August 2012; Stoff 2011, Stockholm Fringe Festival, August 2011: ; Het Langhuis, Zwolle, Netherlands, July 2011; Exhibition with Charlotte Beck in the Berkelkraftwerk, Vreden, Germany, May – July 2011; Are You There?, Anna Paulowna Kunstroute, The Hague, Netherlands, May 2011; Kunst in Het Agterhuis-Stichting beeldende Kunst Ag, Hengelo, Netherlands, April–May 2011; Body and Soul, Gallery Helder, The Hague, Netherlands, 2011; LekArt, Culemborg, Netherlands, September 2010; Inside Out, Tetem 2., Enschede, Netherlands, July–August 2010
  • Awards

  • Nominee, Sculpture Award, New Jersey, 2010; First prize, Jugend Musiziert, Germany, 2008
  • Publications

  • Marita Brinkmann-Theile, Helena Hartmann-Eine Wüllnerin erobert die Kunstwelt, Der Ahauser, Nr. 15, 2015, 28/29; Anna Angström, Experimentlust-Identitetslekar med ung energi, SvD, 2011, 20; Theo Krabbe, 'Ik heb nog last van de god uit mijn jeugd', Tubantia, Geloven in het oosten, 2011