Bethie Helliwell is a First Class BA(hons) Textile Art graduate of Cardiff Metropolitan University. Based in Cardiff, originally from Devon, she creates work within the field of installation and documentation with elements of performance mainly through audio. Collaborations with a broad range of creative artists, writers, photographers and performers within a gallery setting and off site-specific works are an important developmental tool. She has expanding experience in the project management of creative events and exhibitions, with recent projects involving Performance Art research and curation and installation of traditional exhibitions.
As part of Plymouth Arts Centre’s exhibition ‘Then there was the sky…”, Helliwell responded to a given sentence “All had doors and windows carelessly open and none showed a light” which also entitled her work. This installation consisted of life-sized door installation made from thread and nails, the door was portrayed as slightly open, which intrigued the viewer and allowed them to seek the potentials of an alternative experience beyond the door.
Her principal endeavor to ‘reveal something personal to the public’ is present in her series of work “When one door closes another door opens”. This installation consisted of two panel doors with large oval negative shapes removed. The two doors gave Helliwell and the audience two possibilities, with two different outcomes metaphorically attached to them.
Helliwell’s practice is materially diverse; yet her work conceptually focuses on grief and the remembering of people’s liveslost. Her series of work “Home for a cup of tea” featured her Great Aunts diaries dating from 1955 to 2010 when she sadly passed. This aims to remind us that our relatives are embedded within who we are as people and to remember them for their everyday tasks is one of the purest ways to keep them with us. Her motivation is her family and her work is an accolade to the lost but not forgotten.
For Helliwell’s final major project on her BA (Hons) Textile Degree she created a series of work, which included three large scale metal structures, an audio piece and a publication. By interacting with the homeless people of Cardiff, Helliwell has been able to make “Can you go home?” engaging and performative, and hopes to make you think about a subject most of us are exposed to everyday, but often pay little attention to.