Helen is a mixed media artist based in Mandurah, Western Australia, working primarily with natural and salvaged materials. She is currently an artist in residence at Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah, where she combines her background in botany and chemistry with a passion for art, to explore the eco-dye potential of local native plants. When she is not tramping through the bush in search of new species to test, Helen works in her studio creating dyes, pigments and eco-prints. Her scientific training is being put to good use as she tries to understand the chemistry behind the often surprising results from the dye pots.
Helen is also working with the City of Mandurah to develop the CASM Cultural Garden, a showcase of local plants that have traditional significance to the Noongar people, and contemporary uses as dyes, textiles or bushfoods.
Alana's work is a cross disciplinary art practice, where imagery is used to interpret, dissect and share her observations of humanity. Since childhood, Alana has experimented with art and images as a method of making sense of the internal and external world. Her work reflects a mixed interpretation of cognitive thinking, emotions, and quirky imagination with elements of landscapes and cultural constructs drawn from the local community.
Alana grew up in Mandurah, and her days were spent mainly in the water. She would frequent locations, such as Boundary Island, the Creery Wetlands and Doddies beach, revelling in her sense of connection to the natural surroundings. In pursuing her studies and professional practice in Visual Arts, Alana travelled extensively throughout Australia visiting locations, such as Broome, Brisbane and the Northern Rivers of New South Wales. Each of these places and the people of the various communities had a profound impact on her art practice. To Alana, relocating to Mandurah feels like coming full circle, with her practice shifting once again to reflect a sense of nostalgia for the region.
Her nomadic lifestyle for many years provided opportunities to experience a wide diversity of landscapes, be active within environmental campaigns and living within unique communities. This has allowed the freedom to explore the many styles and themes for her art practice, whilst developing her own set of values and ethics as an artist. Alana is inspired and motivated by how the arts can create stronger connections within communities and one's self.
‘Art making is where my joy is and how I process the stuff that is anything less. Living in such a beautiful location is a blessing, which definitely gives another layer of depth to creating and living in general’ – Alana Grant.