Helena Hadala RCA...Current Information [ Biography - All Series ]
The underlying basis of my artistic practice focuses on imagery that reflects rather than describes my perceptual world. Zen Buddhist philosophy and Taoism have informed my life and approach to the creative process. For me, creativity is a result of mindfulness, which in turn inspires content. A search for resonance in between intellect and intuition, idea and action is the underlying impetus of my work. The process allows for contemplation to become visible and take on tangible form.
Five booklets in PDF format have been created to document the concepts and work for 5 large-scale collaborative exchange projects with artist and Taoist poet Deng Ming-Dao. These projects were completed over a 20-year time span. The booklets form part of a proposal to exhibit these works in the near future as a comprehensive retrospective. Here are two of the booklets.
Walking River is a complex multi-faceted collaborative project based on thirty poems written by Deng Ming Dao. This interdisciplinary project streams together words, images and sound cutting across many borders to forge a creative work that opens new doors of perception. Deng Ming-Dao and I, created imagery based on 36 poems and Canadian composer, John Abram, composed a 72-minute score for String Quartet to complement the visuals. The project was completed in 2021 and exhibition venue is TBA.
Two Sides of the Story, is a collaborative project linking imagery and text and continues a twenty-year artistic kinship between Taoist poet Deng Ming-Dao and myself. For this exchange, I initially created the twenty-four oil paintings and then Ming-Dao made his poetic response to each image. The synergy of the images paired with Ming-Dao’s poetry generates alchemy and the composite of disciplines from our two perspectives amplify the story. The oil paintings in Two Sides of the Story were inspired by the line from the Heart Sutra, “Form is emptiness and emptiness is form”. The visual imagery in this series reflects my quest to explore the implications of this cryptic line. Each painting, envisioned as a portal, attempts to express the spirit of form rather than form itself.
"Many Gardens": Thanks to Miriam Fabijan, curator and Susan Fraser-Hughes, artist for the invitation to join the “Many Gardens Exhibition” held at the Calgary Centennial Library in August 2022.
"Two Sides of the Story #21": This painting of mine was recently purchased by the Alberta Art Foundation of the Arts 2022 Art Acquisition by Application Program.
In 1979 I created a 500 sq. foot ceramic tile mosaic for the Calgary Centennial Planetarium as a base for the Foucault pendulum. It is now an integral part of the Contemporary Calgary space. Katherine Ylitalo, independent curator has written an article about this work and it will be featured in the upcoming Calgary edition of Avenue Magazine in November 2022.
In 2022 Parnia Shahab, an MFA student from the University of Calgary has used the mosaic in a creative collaborative way to showcase her Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition (August 7 to Sept 9, 2022). Parnia’s website: https://parniashahab.wixsite.com/parnia-shahab/art-projects
"Embrace your Divine Flow": My artwork will be featured in this upcoming publication, which is scheduled for September 1st, 2023 by the UpRoute imprint of Durville Publications. Editors: Lorene Shyba and Julian Hobson.
"Counter" (installed 2019), my 1982 Japanese-style woodcut, has been selected from the Calgary Civic Collection and reproduced on a bus shelter for the MAX Orange Line. The image is featured at the Saddletowne Circle location in NE Calgary. Note: When the new Cancer Centre is completed, this image will also be featured at the Foothills Medical Centre MAX Orange Line bus shelter alongside a clay print by Marion Nicol.
"Innocence, Experience and Synthesis" (2018-19), a 3-panel triptych, oil on canvas, each panel 42 in x 48 in commissioned for a private collection (Calgary).