Why do Helen Mudie-Ioannidou’s sculptures touch you?
Part of the answer is in the tactile, sensual, immediate way that you are drawn to the bodies.
They seem to have paused for a moment before life resumes, an instant captured before they move away. They invite your action, to touch and explore, and your reaction, to consider how still life can become.
Part of the answer is less visible, more emotional. The figures convey the essence of a being, the spirit of a person, the impression that you have already met and known each other.
The artist however will not express this in words, she conveys everything through the form, the physical and the metaphysical, the shape and the spirit.
The sculpture becomes a body, becomes a figure, becomes a person, becomes a friend.
Helen was born in Scotland, where she studied art at school and college. After graduating as a teacher, she moved to Greece, where she was inspired by the vibrant culture, people and landscapes.
She then moved to Turkey and for six years taught art and music at the Istanbul International Community School. While there, she directed and designed sets and costumes for school musicals including “Cats” and “Grease”. She also found time to paint and sculpt, captivated by the people and scenes around her – old men in coffee shops, young shoe shiners, old ladies with weather worn faces, farmers working the fields.
When Helen moved back to Greece, she taught art at a local children’s home in Paleon Faliron. She was also very keen to continue her studies and took courses in life drawing, art history and ceramics at the Art Painting Centre in Glyfada. Here, she had the opportunity to sculpt life models directly from clay.
Helen's love of the human form, the body and it's language inspires her figurative work. When she sculpts from life, she does not strive to produce an exact likeness, but hopes to capture the essence of the sitter.
She works mainly in stoneware clay preferring to form her pieces using coils of clay and uses a variety of firing techniques. She also uses glazes, patinas, stains and wax to get the finish she wants. Selected sculptures are cast in limited editions in bronze.
Her work – paintings drawings and sculpture – has been shown in group exhibitions in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Scotland.
In 2004, she had her first solo sculpture show, at the Egina Aegina Gallery in Greece.
Followed in May 2007 by ‘The Embrace’ at the Art Gallery Café, Voula, Greece. In November 2007 at the Sismanogliou Palace, Beyoglou, Istanbul, Turkey.
In July 2009 ‘Reflections’ Art Studio Gallery, Mykonos, Greece and in August 2014 by ‘Sculpture’ at the Egina.Aegina Gallery, Aegina, Greece
In 2007 she received a Highly Commended Award for her exhibit ‘Sisters’ at the Moray Arts Club in her native Scotland.
Her work is in the collection at the Greek Embassy in Ankara and in private collections worldwide.
Helen has been a member of the Greek Chamber of Fine Arts since 2009.