BIOGRAPHY AND CV
Artist Helen Fraser was born in Kyneton, Victoria, Australia in 1970. After graduating with degrees in Psychology, Helen decided to pursue an artistic path. Throughout the 1990's she explored numerous mediums after initially training with tonal realist painter Barbara McCallum for four years in Melbourne. In her early 40's she found her true creative voice by focusing on her passions of textiles, history, nature and human nature. Her drawings and textiles have been featured in MindFood Magazine and Down Under Textiles and she has been interviewed by ABC Radio Bendigo and Canberra.
Helen is a participant in the highly successful international United Declaration of Human Rights Quilt Project (#UDHR Quilt Project) which was on exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra from 2019-20. Her quilt block was projected onto the front of Old Parliament House during Enlighten Canberra Festival 2019. This project has led to intensive research into Australia's Slave Trade history resulting in an ongoing collaboration with the Australian South Sea Islanders Port Jackson in Sydney and the Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra. In August 2019 she ran a workshop called Yumi Olgeta: Crafting a More Inclusive Democracy to help the community learn about Australia's history and its impact through the process of creating chain stitch embroidery together. This led to the development of her first craftivism project which is currently underway where participants are creating embroidery for a commemorative quilt that will be donated to the Museum of Australian Democracy. She has also collaborated with the Napen Napen Cultural women of Port Vila, Vanuatu who have created three stunning weavings for the quilt which will be completed by late 2022.
Helen draws upon history to inspire her art as it reminds her of her own fragmented history as well as the cracks in the development of Australia and other colonial countries. By pulling the fragmented threads back together, one stitch at a time, she heals and transforms herself while hoping to inspire others to heal also. Through her art making she hopes to contribute to a more integrated mature country. For example, one of her Tassel ink drawings has been used in an awning installation titled Site Echoes by Julie Stoneman and Futago Design for the new Movenpick Hotel in Elizabeth Street, Hobart, Tasmania. The interior design will focus on the past use of this historic site which includes First Nations history and the Palace Theatre.
Helen is also a contributor to the upcoming podcast by USA artist Crista Cloutier who developed the renowned Working Artist Masterclass on-line training program. She is also a passionate supporter of The Big Roast for Cystic Fybrosis and donates artwork annually for their silent auction.
Helen currently lives and works in the Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia. Her work is held in private and public collections in Australia, NZ, USA, Canada and Italy. She is a member of The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria, Bendigo Branch. Her work can be purchased through regular solo and group shows, Falkner Gallery Castlemaine and Radius Art Hepburn Springs in Victoria, Australia.
Photo credit: Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra during Enlighten Canberra Festival 2019.
2020 The Jefferson Grid, Hume Global Learning Centre Public Gallery, Sunbury
2018 Tassels and Fragments, Falkner Gallery, Castlemaine
2017 Mountain Is Myself, Gallerysmith Project Space , North Melbourne
2017 Mummy, I’ve Lost my Teddy, Alternating Current Art Space, Windsor
2013 Footsteps Through the Forest, Exhibit Artist Space, Kyneton
Selected Group Exhibitions
2021 Beyond the Blue Horizon, Old Auction House Kyneton (upcoming)
2021 Group Exhibition, Radius Art Gallery, Hepburn Springs (current)
2021 Journey, Falkner Gallery, Castlemaine (including Castemaine Festival)
2019 Xmas Show, Falkner Gallery, Castlemaine
2019 Artistic Needles, The Embroiders Guild, Vic, Annual Exhibition
2019 Crafting Resistance, Kingston Arts
2019 St Kevins Art Show, Melbourne
2019 Six Moments in Kingston Public Bus tour (part of Tal Fitzpatrick’s exhibit)
2018-20 UDHR Quilt Project Exhibition, Old Parliament House, Canberra
2018 Embroidery For All Seasons, Embroidery Guild of Vic, Bendigo Branch
2018 Small Works From a Big Place, Jumpleads, Central Victoria
2018 Follow the Thread, Living Arts Space, Bendigo
2018 Camberwell Art Show, Melbourne
2018 Collaberration with Danish Quapoor, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery
2017 Annual Altered Book/Book Arts Exhibition, Marin MOCA, California
2017 Nasty Women Everywhere, Melbourne
2017 Nasty Women Art Exhibition, New York
2015 White Shoe Box Gallery, Castlemaine State Festival
2015 Art in the Streets, Bendigo
2014 Diversity, Black Anther Gallery, Woodend
2013 Imagine, Bakery Lane, Woodend
2013 Picture This, Gasworks Art Park
2006 Linden Postcard Show, St Kilda
2005 The Artery, Brunswick
2004 Gallery 99, Flinders Street, Melbourne
2020 Tassle Ink Drawing in Site Echoes awning Installation, Movenpick Hotel, Hobart, digital print in glass by Julie Stoneman and Futago Design.
2019 United Declaration of Human Rights Quilt Block (Article 4: Ban on Slavery) shown on the front of Old Parliament House in Canberra during the Enliven Canberra light show on Friday 8th March, 2019.
Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra, Australia
Centre for Adult Education Library, Melbourne
Scotch College, Melbourne
Imago Mundi – Luciano Benetton Collection, Italy
Private Collections in Australia, NZ, USA and Canada
Press and Publications
‘Creativity takes Flight’, Sunbury Leader, Tuesday Mar 3rd, 2020, p.6
‘The Jefferson Grid’,This is Sunbury Magazine, March 2020 Edition, p 12-15. (Read at https://www.thisissunbury.com.au/march-2020-issue-out-now/)
‘Yumi Olgeta; an Inclusive Craftivism Workshop’, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra. Read at https://www.moadoph.gov.au/blog/yumi-olgeta-an-inclusive-craftivism-workshop/
‘The Democratic Power of Craftivism’, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra . Read at https://www.moadoph.gov.au/blog/the-democratic-power-of-craftivism/
Children of Sugar Slaves: Black and Resilent. Masters Thesis by Waskam Emelda Davis (2020)
Craftivism as DIY Citizenship: The Practice of Making Change, Tal Fitzpatrick PhD Thesis (2018), p.125-126.
‘Enhance Your Natural Beauty with Creativity’, Medicare Beauty Digital Magazine, USA . Read at https://www.medicarebeauty.com/lifestyle/enhance-your-natural-beauty-with-creativity/
‘It is Never Too Late to Create; Fulfilling Your Dream to be an Artist at Midlife’, Medicare Beauty Digital Magazine, USA, Read at https://www.medicarebeauty.com/how-to/midlife/
‘A Long Search For My True Voice’, Down Under Textiles, Edition 34, Nov/Dec 2018, p.73-76.
Gisborne Gazette: ‘A Meditative Exhibition’, April 2018, p. 10
MindFood Magazine: 2018 Future Trends Report – Slavery in Art Form, Jan/Feb 2018, p.11.
Looking Down Under: Contemporary Artists From Australia, 2016, p.164-165.
Bendigo Advertiser, ‘A Child Of The Forest’, February 18, 2015, p. 04
Bendigo Advertiser, 'Art In The Streets 2015: Showcasing Local and Regional Artists', February 13, 2015, p.03 & .06
Sunbury Leader, 'Childhood Memories Come To Life', June 11, 2013, p. 07
ABC Radio Canberra interview by Greg Bayliss on Saturday 17th August, 2019, 7.07am to discuss Craftivism and the Yumi Olgeta:Crafting a More Inclusive Democracy Workshop being held that afternoon at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. Link available via https://soundcloud.com/helandback/yumi-olgeta-interview
ABC Central Victoria interview by Derek Guille with Sharon Seyd, Founder of Jumpleads and curator of Small Works From a Big Place travelling exhibition. Topics included the exhibition and the importance of buying local art. Thursday 22nd Nov, 2018, 6.40am. Link available via https://www.popupart.com.au/get-real-for-christmas/
Contributor to Crista Cloutier’s podcast series for artists ‘The Working Artist: Step-by-Step Guide from Feather to Wings. Interviewed via Skype on 11th June 2019. Podcast to be released in 2022.
Hume City Council Art Awards 2020, Commendation
2020 Covid 19 Quilt Project
2020 Hume Library Community Quilt Project (Development, ongoing)
2019 The Pocket of Kindness Skirt, The Story Costumer, Kyneton
2019+ The Yumi Olgeta:Crafting a More Inclusive Democracy collaboration with ASSIPJ (Development, ongoing)
2019+ Arts Action, Pop Up Art Group, Central Victoria (current)
2018 United Declaration of Human Rights Embroidery Sampler
2018 United Declaration of Human Rights Quilt Project, Melbourne
2017 Nasty Women Art Exhibition, Melbourne (Development)
2016 You Are So Very Beautiful, Melbourne
2016 Art Matters, Pop Up Art Group, Central Victoria
2020-23 SugarFest Yumi Olgeta Workshops, Sydney sponsored by the City of Sydney
2020 The Jefferson Grid Artist Talk at the Hume Global Learning Centre Gallery, Sunbury (Mar 5, 2020)
2020 Community Quilting Workshop teaching hand quilting design where participants design and stitch a quilting block that may be contributed to a quilt for the new Hume Global Learning Centre Library (Feb 29, 2020)
2019 Embroidery Guild of Victoria, Bendigo Branch, October meeting to discuss Yumi Olgeta
2019 Chain Stitch Workshop and discussion with Waskam Emelda Davis and Aunty Lydia George, Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House, Canberra, August 17th as part of the 25th Anniversary of ASSI Commonwealth Recognition as a distinct cultural group.
2019 Create Harcourt Craft Retreat hand quilting demonstration, Harcourt.
2018 UDHR Quilt Project, Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House, Canberra
2018 Falkner Gallery, Castlemaine
2018 UDHR Quilt Project Talks by Artists as part of Craftivism HQ Exhibition by Tal Fitzpatrick, Melbourne
2018 Kew Gardens Aged Care, Kew, Melbourne
2017 Embroidery Guild of Victoria, Bendigo Branch
2013 Exhibit Artist Space, Kyneton
Art Research Trips
2019 25th Anniversary of the ASSI Commonwealth Recognition Celebration, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney, Friday 23rd August.
2018 New York City, Newport Rhode Island, Monroe Louisiana and Missoula/Ronan/Glacier National Park Montana including Flathead Indian Reservation
2018 Townsville, Australian South Sea Islanders
2017 Sydney, Australian South Sea Islanders – Port Jackson
National Association of Visual Artists (NAVA)
The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria
Bendigo Branch, Embroiderers Guild, Victoria
Victorian Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists (Guest Member)
Victorian History Library; Mechanics Institute, Prahran, Melbourne
Australian Psychological Society
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Peoples Interest Group - APS
Associate Member of Australian South Sea Islanders – Port Jackson
2011 Advanced Professional Artist Program, CAE, Melbourne
2004-5 Diploma of Visual Art, CAE, Melbourne
2000-4 Taught under Barbara McCallum, Tonal Realist Painter, Ringwood
1996 Graduate Diploma of Applied Psychology (Counselling), NTU
1988-91 Bachelor of Behavioural Science, Latrobe University