Helga Butzer Felleisen has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Classical Civilizations and Classical Archaeology. A Kress Foundation Fellowship in 1989-90 enabled her to conduct doctoral research in Greece; this trip gave her also an opportunity to explore the contemporary Aegean world, a world that inspires her work as an artist today.
In the late 1990s Helga returned to school. She attended the Glassell School of Art, Houston, and the Boston Architectural Center before earning a Diploma and Fifth Year Certificate from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Helga has participated in solo and juried group shows. She has won awards; her work is in collections in the US and in Europe.
A child of immigrants, Helga has always lived between cultures. To her, identity represents a tension between wanting roots and the freedom of floating. It is not surprising that her work centers on the relationship between identity and memory. Intentionally elusive, it challenges the viewer to consider how who we are dictates what we perceive.
My work addresses memory and our temporal sense of identity. It juxtaposes the familiar and the unknown, the conscious and the subconscious. It invokes meditation and contemplation.
The natural world informs my work. Its simplicity of line is about wandering and discovery. I follow and respond. Whether by process, material or imagery, water is a recurring leitmotif. It is our pulse; its ebb and flow bears ideas, thoughts and recollections. It is the continuum that binds past with future.
I explore memory as palimpsest. Paper is my preferred material. Its properties best convey memory and transience. While it is ephemeral, it has history and strength. It has sound. Paper also has texture and transparency.
My works of hand-cut paper are metaphors for time. Combined with light and air, they create undulating, ghostly tapestries of information. Their fluid nature speaks of impermanence. The ensuing images underscore the fragile nature of what is lost and retrieved, and how we choose to reinvent it.