Helen Denerley

Wolves

scrap metal

Private Collection

Many artists, since Picasso, have created art out of scrap metal (see David Kemp), but Helen Denerley stands head and shoulders above most by using scrap sculpturally, welding her materials not just physically but imaginatively, to make visible the vital strength and character of the animals that fascinate her.

She starts with the look in the animal’s eyes, and its muscles, bones and flanks flower from there, manifesting its aim in life, the focus of attention that has given it its form and around which its unique character has evolved over time.  And it’s to the animal’s eyes that you always return, where the truth of her original feeling shines again. I haven’t yet come across anyone else who can sculpt an animal’s look so well.

On one level her art is unstinting praise for animal life, but it is created out of the very machines that have done and are doing so much to bring about so many animals’ extinction.  Denerley’s use of scrap isn’t critical or sentimental. The pieces she recycles are beautiful - muscular, metallic extensions of our limbs and bodies, as natural to us as the antlers on a stag, the armoury in our own battle for existence; extensions, too, of the look in our eyes. It is this subtle, complex interplay between animals and humans that is expressed so powerfully through her art. 

For more information please visit Helen’s website: www.helendenerley.co.uk

Sacred Cow

scrap metal

Private Collection