About her work: “Not my baggage”: Inspired by the Children’s book series “A Family From...” by Julia Waterlow, where a family places their entire lives contents on the front lawn, comes the latest work from Helma Groot. Following a similar mindset, Helma’s pieces largely focus on both the material and emotional baggage a person or family can accumulate.
The colors chosen are meant to be both beautiful and appealing to the eye. Once drawn in by the eye catching colors the viewer can begin to understand the content of the piece. The combination of bombs and fish is a whimsical approach to addressing the issues between the natural world and the man made world. How the two are affected by one another and what we as humans do to the natural world.
Helma, who is originally from the Netherlands, is greatly influenced by the sea and the country’s on going battle to control and co-habitat with the sea. At the age of eight Helma and her family moved to Indonesia where her home was adjacent to a river. Each year the river flooded and people lost everything, their belongings floating down the river. Because of her childhood in Indonesia, Asian folk-art plays a vital role in many of Helma’s pieces in particular Wayang Kulit puppet theatre. The Wayang Kuilt puppets are mainly 2-Deminional and rely heavily on shadow and spatial relationships, two components of Helma’s work. At the age of 14 Helma traveled to Tahiti where she visited the studio of Paul Gauguin. His colorful approach to folk-art and his conceptual ideas attracted Helma and are reflected in many works.
Meant as a commentary on the world we presently live in and human relationships, Helma’s work speaks on a universal level. Creating her first mobile in 1992 for a client’s home in Chicago, the free flowing nature of her mobiles lends them to multiple installation options. While mobiles traditionally hang from ceilings, many of Helma’s pieces are versatile and have the ability to hang against the wall, being displayed more as a free flowing painting than a typical mobile.
Receiving her BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design, she graduated Magna cum laude in 1989. Helma has also studied at the Hout and Meubilings College (furniture-making college) Amsterdam Netherlands 1992-1993.”