Helen Keen is a female artist born in New Zealand, currently working in Perth, Western Australia, New Zealand.
Helen Keen image

Helen Keen is an artist and designer who has combined her passion for teaching with creating.

Helen has gained recognition both nationally in New Zealand and internationally for her fine quality ceramics which is distinguishable for its lustre finishes & delicate texture; and her more recent works in pastel.

Helen lived in Perth between 2008 – 2012 where she was introduced to painting with Schmincke pastels and discovered a wonderful medium to explore land and seascapes as well as portraits inspired by Modigliani.

Helen can recall creating in her childhood and has for some 25+ years combined working with her passion for living and expressing herself as an artist. “It has always been about creating something… whether its sharing ideas or making something.. I see making art as an endless supply of ideas… I just need to set the time to explore and have fun”.

Helen is self-taught – so naturally 10 years potting led to experiencing hands on learning & teaching. She believes this is fundamental to her art practice – and life.

Known and respected for inspiring others through her work as a Primary and Adult teacher, Helen has availed herself to mentoring, work-shopping and tutoring – privately, as artist-in-residence and for teaching community groups. Helen believes her vitality relies on being open to ideas ever-changing & is bored easily… so she enjoys keeping her work evolving and fresh.

Helens’ designs often display simplicity and intricacies with attention to detail. In her ceramic forms she uses decorative feet to extenuate and elevate perspectives. Her hand thrown ceramics – are notably fine and delicately play on the senses of rituals. She sees all her artworks as pieces to be enjoyed, “I love for my work to be used … yes its art… it takes a huge amount of energy to make it… that’s why I think of it as artwork… it’s got my heart in it”.

In her pastel work – Helen captures tranquility and mood in a dreamyness…

AWARDS
•1995 PURCHASE AWARD –Springtime Festival
Judge: Greg Daly Queensland, Australia
•1996 FUNCTIONAL AWARD –Franklin Arts Award
Judge: Brian Gartside Auckland, New Zealand
•1996 MERIT AWARD –Harvey Real Estate Award
Judge: Bronwyn Cornish Tauranga, New Zealand
•1997 MERIT AWARD –Norsewear Art Award
Judge: Selma Holo (Los Angelos) Auckland, New Zealand
•1997 FIRST PRIZE –Franklin Art Award
Judge: Sue Newby Auckland, New Zealand
•1997 MERIT AWARD –Birkenhead Trust Award
Judge: Keith Blight Auckland, New Zealand
•2008 FIRST PRIZE –3 DIMENSIONAL SECTION ‐Canning Art Award
Judges: Anna Clifton & Dianne Sigell Perth, Australia
•2009 MERIT AWARD & HIGHLY COMMENDED – Ceramics
Cockburn Community Art Awards Perth, Western Australia
Judges: Val Lancaster & Muriel Barron
•2009 MERIT AWARD – Pastels
Cockburn Community Art Awards Perth, Western Australia
Judges: Val Lancaster & Muriel Barron

REVIEWS, FEATURES & PUBLICATIONS
•1992 New Zealand Craft Magazine –April
•1994 Otago Daily Times –Early Settlers Exhibition
•1995 Bay of Plenty Times –Solo Exhibition Tauranga
•1995 Otago Daily Times –Winter Solstice Exhibition
•1995 Otago Daily Times –Solo Exhibition Moray Gallery
•1995 Otago Daily Times –Crafts Council Exhibition
•1996 Otago Daily Times & Southern Television –Solo Exhibition Moray Gallery
•1996 Clay News –Franklin Art Awards
•1996 New Zealand Potters Magazine –(April) Springtime Festival
•1996 New Zealand Potters Magazine –(November) Harvey Real Estate
•1996 Southern Television –Works of Excellence
•1997 New Zealand House & Garden Magazine –June issue
•1997 New Zealand Potters Magazine Vol.’s 23 & 39
•1997 Christchurch Star
•2008 Community Newspaper Group –Canning Art Awards

COMMISSION & DESIGN CONTRACTS
•1996 Exclusive Designware range for PRIMAL INSTINCT–included designs for clothing prints, ceramics and watches
•1996 Architects Conference –Guest Speaker Gifts
•1996 –1997 National Corporate Gifts –Telecom, Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Transport, Brierleys & The Prime Minister Elect–Jenny Shipley
•1997 ITOC (NZ Inbound Tour Operator Council) 25TH Anniversary –Gifts for Distinguished Guest and Cabinet Ministers
•1997 Picton –Clothing Design

EXHIBITION HISTORY
Group & Solo Exhibitions
•1991 Mothers of Invention Dunedin, New Zealand
•1993 Early Settlers Museum Dunedin
•1993 Arthouse Dunedin
•1993 Anderson Park Spring Exhibition Invercargill, New Zealand
•1991 –97 Cleveland Ceramic Arts Dunedin
•1993 –94 Grays Gallery ‐Tea Party & Garden Party Dunedin
•1993 –96 Aurora Health Centre Dunedin
•1993 –96 The Crafts Council Exhibitions Dunedin
•1994 Queensland ‐Springtime Festival Pottery Queensland, Australia
•1994 Port Chalmers –Exhibition of Excellence Dunedin
•1994 Otago Museum ‐Responses Dunedin
•1995 Pyromania –Solo Exhibition Tauranga, New Zealand
•1995 Norsewear Art Award Waipukurau, New Zealand
•1995 No. 5 Gallery ‐Painting Exhibition Dunedin
•1995 No. 5 Gallery ‐Sculptural Ceramic Exhibition Dunedin
•1995 Botanical Gardens –Art Botanic Dunedin
•1995 Art By The Sea –Jugs, Mugs & Teapots Auckland, New Zealand
•1995 Moray Gallery –Winter Solstice Dunedin
•1995 Moray Gallery –Solo Exhibition Dunedin
•1995 No. 5 Gallery –Around About 125 Dunedin
•1995 –2004 MacAndrew Intermediate School Art Exhibition Dunedin
•1995 No. 5 Gallery ‐Painting Exhibition Dunedin
•1995 No. 5 Gallery –Sculptural Ceramics Exhibition Dunedin
•1995 Botanical Gardens –Art Botanic Dunedin
•1995 Art By The Sea –Jugs, Mugs & Teapots Auckland, New Zealand
•1995 Moray Gallery –Winter Solstice Dunedin
•1995 Moray Gallery –Solo Exhibition Dunedin
•1995 No. 5 Gallery –Around About 125 Dunedin
•1995 –96 Tony Williams Studios –Works of Excellence Dunedin
•1995 –97 Grays Studio –Under $100Dunedin
•1996 Moray Gallery –Antipodeans Christmas Dunedin
•1996 –97 Thames Society of Arts Thames, New Zealand
•1996 Moray Gallery –Solo Exhibitions February & April Dunedin
•1996 Applied Arts –Solo Exhibition Christchurch, New Zealand
•1996 Envoys Association of Women Artists –Postcards Auckland
•1996 Art Expo Ceramics & Glass Awards Auckland
•1996 –97 Franklin Art Awards Auckland
•1996 –97 Birkenhead Trust Awards Auckland
•1996 Queensland Gold Coast –15thInternational Awards Queensland, Australia
•1996 Harvey Real Estate Awards Tauranga, New Zealand
•1996 Celia Kennedy Gallery –Domestic Delights Queenstown, New Zealand
•1996 Lopdell House –The Mug Show Auckland
•1996 Rosslyn Gallery –Solo Exhibition Dunedin
•1996 St Heliers Bay Art Festival Auckland
•1997 Solo Exhibition Wanaka, New Zealand
•1997 International Biennial of Ceramic Art Belgium
•1997 Fusion Gallery –Solo Exhibition Christchurch, New Zealand
•1997 Telecom Art Award –accepted entry Dunedin
•2002 – 2012 KURA Gallery Wellington & Auckland
•2005 – 2007 Nelson Art Gallery Nelson, New Zealand
•2008 Town of Bassendean Perth, Western Australia
•2008 Town of Vincent Perth, Western Australia
•2008 City of Belmont Perth, Western Australia
•2008 Victoria Park Perth, Western Australia
•2008 Shire of Morowa Perth, Western Australia
•2008 Canning Art Award Perth, Western Australia
•2009 Melville Art Awards Perth, Western Australia
•2009 Cockburn Community Art Awards Perth, Western Australia