Helena Hadala RCA...Current Information [ Biography - All Series ]



Helena Hadala RCA



Email: hh@helenahadala.ca


Helena Hadala is represented by:

Bugera Matheson Gallery
1B – 10110 124 St. Edmonton, Alberta

Phone: 780.482.2854
Email: angela@bugeramathesongallery.com
Artworks: Hadala, Helena (RCA)



Artist Statement


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.



Documentation of Major Works


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.


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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.



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Pillow Talk, an installation inspired by the suite of poetry entitled Shadows, written by Taoist author Deng Ming-Dao, explores the liminal nature of the human condition. The objective of this hybrid art-poem project comprised of 60 silk pillows and related video, is to provide a quiet intimate space for the viewer to contemplate the ephemeral nature of shadow and psyche’s dualistic nature. The accompanying video, entitled Shadows can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24mF9PMnVu4.

Silent Passage explores identity, perception and the deeper connotation of silence. The installation, comprised of 36 large scale mixed media translucent fabric panels, was inspired by Deng Ming-Dao’s poem Be Silence. The definition of silence, as the absence of noise, does not truly define silence and Ming-Dao’s poem suggests an alternate inference; he releases the implication of silence as defined by an external event to an internal condition. The implication of his poem motivated me to contemplate the deeper meaning of silence and to create an autobiographical work reflecting my own search for still mind. The prototype installation video of Silent Passage can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T6JCicHilE





The drawings in the 365 Visual Meditations series are inspired by the corresponding daily poetic aphorisms in Deng Ming-Dao’s book, 365 Tao: Daily Meditations. Each daily entry in the book begins with a one-word title, an aphorism providing the theme, followed by insightful contemplation. In his book, Ming-Dao weaves the wisdom of Taoism and everyday spirituality into contemporary Western life. The subject matter, structured in a chronological format, provided an ideal format for re-interpretation of its Taoist content in a visual genre. My project was based on a commitment to start one drawing a day for the entire year. It was my first attempt to create an entire body of work based on visual images inspired by words.





Embrace Your Divine Flow - Evolvements for Healing: My artwork is featured in this publication, which was released on September 1st, 2023 by the UpRoute imprint of Durville Publications. Editors: Lorene Shyba and Julian Hobson.



book cover



"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.


Two Sides of the Story, 2021, oil on canvas 48” x 42”



"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.


"Counter" - Helena Hadala



"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).


Innocence, Experience and Synthesis



All designs, images and text are copyright to Helena Hadala RCA or the exhibiting venues