The Murwillumbah studio of textile artist Helle Jorgensen. Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Hand woven trinkets and experiments by Helle Jorgensen. Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Helle Jorgensen in her studio, winding some handmade twine from natural fibres! Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Helle Jorgensen’s crocheted ‘Entropy Collection’, created for an exhibition at the Tweed River Art Gallery last year.
Helle Jorgensen studio details. Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Helle’s latest obsession – hand winding twine from natural plants and fibres. Photos – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
We met some amazingly talented people whilst traipsing around the NSW North Coast, but there was one local creative who really stole our hearts – artist Helle Jorgensen. What a super lovely, super talented and very industrious lady!
Helle was born in Denmark, and came to Australia as a young girl. She lived in Sydney until 2009, and moved to a small acreage in the Tweed Valley four years ago with her husband. Currently she works from a sweet little studio above a shop in Murwillumbah, about 40 mins North of Byron Bay.
Inspired by the extraordinary beauty of the natural world, Helle creates amazing intricate assemblages of tiny crocheted forms, often referencing marine life. Though it’s very labour intensive, Helle’s creative process is also highly spontaneous. Each work evolves very intuitively through Helle’s endless experimentation with different techniques and materials. These materials vary from repurposed plastic bags, to hand-wound twine created using natural plants and fibres. The creation of this twine is as much part of the artistic process for Helle as the forms themselves… it’s quite amazing to watch just how much work goes into hand winding each length of fibre, even before she’s decided what to create with it!
Helle originally studied biology at university, and after graduating worked mostly in medical research. She went on to study horticulture, and for a time had her own business providing horticultural services – though she always had a creative streak, and during this time also studied art part-time, majoring in drawing, painting and printmaking. ‘It has been a slow evolution of knowledge and skills, with each field of expertise informing the other’ says Helle, by way of explaining her path from biologist to artist. ‘In the end, every thing has been underpinned by an insatiable curiosity of the natural world’.
Helle is wonderfully succinct when asked to describe her work. ‘I am an investigator of materials and form’ she says. ‘Collecting, arranging and displaying is a large part of my process, as is the use of materials that are discarded, recycled or sustainably harvested. This provides limitations which are my rules of play.’
Helle’s current obsession is an investigation of natural materials, foraged from her garden. She’s currently hand winding fibre from various plant matter, and working on a collection of experimental weaving techniques that she hopes to exhibit later this year. We’ll be sure to keep you posted!
In the meantime, do pop over and check out Helle’s excellent blog, which documents lots of her earlier work!