Helen is an inter/transdisciplinary artist, researcher and consultant. She makes installations, interactions, and interventions. She curates and designs environments, exhibitions, and performances (theatre, dance, digital, live art). She is a published researcher, and consults on projects for public and private funders, community organizations, and others. Much of this is ‘institution adjacent work,’ which is good or bad depending on how you feel about neighbours.
In her work with newcomers to Canada, Helen plays with and corrupts conventional approaches to settlement, by leading with what art knows, or looking at what art has to offer immigration. Blending performance, conceptual art, and social R&D, this work with immigrants and refugees is a deliberate semi-useful construct for exploring notions of decent work for newcomers and artists. Through an artistic framework, she has successfully helped newcomers who have experienced difficulties getting a job in Canada become employed fulltime in their field of interest. Funders love it, but say they don’t know how to fund this work.
Helen leads the Laboratory for Artistic Intelligence. She is an artist-researcher with the Culture of Cities Centre and a board member with the Centre for Social Innovation. For over a decade, Helen has contributed to civic actions and cultural policy thinking at the municipal, provincial, national, and international levels. These days, Helen is preoccupied with the question of What Art Knows, which is the title of a book she is writing about the role of artists and artistic intelligence in contemporary society.