Poetics of childhood
November 07 –
November 26, 2018

Prešernova ulica 10A
1000 Ljubljana
Piera Ravnikar

Teja Kosi
            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.
           Helena Tahir (1992) works in the fields of painting, drawing, photography and graphic art. For the latter, she received this year’s May Saloon (ZDSLU) award for the best young graphic artist. She is a postgraduate student in the painting programme at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Ljubljana, where in 2015 she also graduated with distinction in painting and graphic arts. In recent years she was an exchange student at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Porto, Portugal, and at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig, Germany. She has participated in several solo and group exhibitions at home and in international cultural environments. She lives and works in Ljubljana.