Helena Tahir builds the contents of her artworks through the process of making her colour drawings, prints and frottage on textile. While the emphasised medium of graphic prints is a novelty, the realistically depicted figures, narrative and precise as they are, make room for free interpretation and own considerations. The emergence of a print or a colour drawing starts in Tahir browsing her uncle’s antique shop where she takes her favourite photos and then compiles them to form a digital collage. Most often, this serves as a draft unburdened by the concept, i.e. her preferred graphic technique – linocut, where each print is composed of no less than six layers that mix in the printing process. As she works, she often invents new creative procedures for familiar techniques.
Her solo exhibition the Poetics of Childhood is composed of a series of portrayals from various cultures made in the period of three years. The works hint at Tahir’s search for herself and her own place, which never leads to a fixed identity. Her sensibility and sensation show in the looks of children reflecting what she had felt herself: nonbelonging or being alien in the world that is, supposedly, your home. According to herself, she now sees herself in the children portrayed. The centred beings surrounded by floating objects resemble “zero space”, sometimes questioning reality, at other times surpassing it. The precise and expressive depictions place us in front of parallel worlds where the ability to feel and empathise is required just as well.