Thursday, 5 April 2012

Helga Schleeh shines beacons of light through her art

Helga Schleeh

                                                              by Nancy Snipper

She is one of Canada’s most eclectic artists; she knows that expression has a multitude of forms, and through her artistic vision and gifts, she allows us to enter the inside of our beings through her own creative prism. Indeed, each and every one of us holds his or her own beacon of light; sometimes it hides. It can be secretive, elusive, and even serene. Or at the other end of things, it can be intensely powerful, blinding and magical. Our beacons cover a wide spectrum of colour and intensity, and it is this unpredictable aspect of ourselves that Schleeh is able to bring out from within, exposing private moments of magic to the outside world.

Her art is personal yet universal; it is a communicative art, full of richness, textures and colours. Depending on your mood and the piece, you may find it is a place where strangeness and beauty can be one.

Helga is highly self-reflective, and through her art, she inspires us to also be reflective.



“I feel that this art must enter into the world because of its technical uniqueness and the message it contains. As far as I know, there is no one else in the world who sands paper to remove the block to light. This enables me to create images that are lit from behind.”
It can take as long as a week to sand a work measuring as high as 11 feet. Each one is rather mesmerizing and sometimes quizzical As well, she creates torsos from clay, and then a mould which she removes upon its completion.  Fortified paper pulp is the end result. A light is beamed from behind it.


What is so exciting about her art is the immediate feeling of being transported into another world – a galaxy of possibilities where the unknown becomes a mysterious hopeful ride. And it’s one you want to take over and over again: each time you look at the same piece, something new is offered; you come away feeling more enlightened.
“My identity switched from a personal to a more universal perspective. For example, in my bodies of light reliefs, the provenance for inspiration comes from Hubble space photos within and surrounding the body itself. The microcosm and the macrocosm of our universe are contained within ourselves.”



Internationally, Schleeh has exhibited in Beijing, New York, Miami, Washington, Toronto, and Montreal. Her work has been on display at the United Nations where she also lectured on issues of peace in the Middle East in 2006. Called “Meeting in the Middle”, she orchestrated a gathering of people from Israel and Palestine to collectively create art resonating each participant’s own personal experiences coming from a land of conflict.


Helga Schleeh inspires us to find our own unique beacons of light not only through her art but through spiritual consultations, privately and in groups. She brings joy, laughter and the enigmatic into our lives. The journey of light continues with her into places of beauty. She offers on-going workshops in Tuscany, Italy for a price that truly is as magical as her art: under $4,000 which includes flight, hotels, meals, wine and olive oil tastings at museums, excursions and all overland travel).
Her website is http://www.helgaschleeh.com/Welcome.html.