Helen Warner


Artists Statement
Helen Warner is a fine art photographer living and working in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Originally from Toulouse in the South West of France, Helen is a graduate of The Queen’s University of Belfast where she mastered in Cinema and Modernism. Her photography is deeply influenced by the intertwining of theatre, intricate costume making and story telling. With the use of traditional props and costumes, Helen creates fantastically freakish images which aim to recreate the opaque world of dreams. By capturing the heightened emotions of an imaginative world, she has created a collection of stills described as ‘Frozen Theater’. As incredible as it may sound, her work  is never digitally manipulated. Warner opens up a window into her world influenced by mythology and legends.


 
Helen Warner, "The most difficult challenge is to convey emotions"

Tales of magic and mysticism are the issues that abound behind the bold proposal of photographer, Helen Warner touches us with images full of intrigue inspired by the pigments used in the Baroque portrait. Warner, in his photographs using clay, oil paint and materials to shape their characters. Thus, the light becomes the main protagonist of his experiments, mostly characterized by addressing the faces of his models, his fragile skin tones, slightly distorted in order to achieve a unique thrill in his eyes. Creations in search of identity addressed in this interview.

Helen, what emerges when your passion for photography?
I've been interested in photography for quite some time, but I started doing photography seriously about two years ago.
What has captivated the discipline?
That a single photograph can bring a story in the viewer's mind, whether documentary, fashion or art, photography is more than a freeze, you can suggest a complete record, in a very imaginative. I love that.
You own a very powerful style in visual terms. Why you're doomed to portraits?
I like doing portraits, because I still think the toughest challenge is to convey emotions. There is an exchange with the models and you have to be able to create a connection for a strong feeling in the portrait. You can see a picture with amazing sets, accessories and parts that can fall into the routine, because there is no connection, no spark in the face of the models, while the simplest picture can be so strong. I like that challenge.


What do you think would be the best definition to your style?
My photographs have been described as a sort of "frozen stage" and I love that description. Theatrical, dark and romantic are the words that best fit my style. I also have said they are terrifying, but I never thought that they are.
Got a favorite session?
Each session is quite memorable, especially when you go outdoors with a somewhat crazy mind and You manage to bring it to reality, something that is always unforgettable ...
If income is, what are your most important photos ..
I am very happy with my recent one called "The frozen theater". It was so cold (-10 °), but we were determined to get the picture. Always fun to see people's reaction to a girl of Pierrot in a glass box in the woods. I also like "Preservation". I've been a bit obsessed with taxidermy glass domes and Victorian floral arrangements in glass bells. All this is fascinating to me


What equipment and post production techniques allow achieving results so seductive?
Photographed with a Canon 5d Mark II and a 28mm lens. As for post production, I do not know how to use Photoshop, so do not play an important role in my creative process. However, I rely on very basic editing. Mind you, I love photo manipulation, there are some amazing photographers who have a very intelligent approach to Photoshop. It's a completely different from mine. I concentrate on the shooting itself, getting the correct direction of light, giving meaning to the model. I try to do everything as close to my idea within my means at present.
And speaking of inspirations or latent themes for your upcoming work ...
Well, the inspiration may have different faces so it is difficult to say what inspires me. Now I am planning a series that has a very defined and hopefully finish in the spring. I'm hoping to have the correct lenses for this project. I can not reveal too much, so for now I can say that these photographs will be closer to the escapism and the various sleep stages 




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