Helena left North Wales to study European Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford College, London, also studying film at Trinity College Dublin.
Her first short, Morning Suits, set in an empty room on the morning of a wedding, was selected for international festivals, screening at Mix Brasil, Melbourne QFF (including being selected for the post festival tour of parts of Australia) and shortlisted for the prestigious Iris Prize 2008.
Helena’s second work, A Model Artist, a silent short film encompassing Helena’s love of the sideshow and burlesque, premiered at the Branchage Jersey International Film Festival 2008, as part of a special programme of films screened by Branchage in a 19th century Speigeltent, together with early sideshow cinema curated by the Curzon, Soho.
Helena makes pieces of film that lie within the liminal framework of performance and moving artefact - a fixed frame of memory, movement, cinematic architecture and theatrical reference are all regularly found in her work.
“Not Alice.” marked her debut in moving image work fusing her experimental non narrative theatre practice with her filmic vision and skills. A graphic animation piece, “Not Alice” has screened at several festivals and together with ‘Ringmaster, My Sister’ and ‘some parts are missing’ form a triptych of animation/film pieces concerning female figures re-telling cinematic scenarios and the power dynamics within them. ‘some parts are missing’ recently won a special mention at the London Short Film Festival, with the judges remarking that [Helena’s] films remind us that film is often a voyeuristic art.’. An interrogation of the dialogue between a female maker, observer and subject is central to Helena’s work, influenced by artists and makers working in live and recorded arts, such as Maya Deren, Pina Bausch, Claude Cahun and Lea Anderson. Also central to Helena’s practice is the exploration of the ‘voice’ of the moving image, rarely using spoken dialogue, but often using on screen text and intertitles.
In 2011 Helena has returned to her “Nots.”, a series of graphic animation shorts which re-tell stories of literary femmes, written and possible. A female figure leads the dialogue of re-telling, shifting between telling, embodying and departing from the journey of the subject via sparse choreography. Helena has most recently looked at the story of Jane Eyre to create “Not Jane.”