Artist: Helen Werner Cox

Exhibition: Silent Screams

Media: Woodcarving, Oil Paint, Pastel, Monoprints, Water Based Materials

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West


Instagram: N/A

About the Artist:

For this week’s artist conversation, the class had the pleasure of meeting Helen Werner Cox. Helen is currently a graduate student here at CSULB and for her Masters of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting Figurative. Originally, she is from Ithaca, New York until the age of 18. She eventually moved to California because the weather on the East Coast drove her to do so. She said that she could’t take all the rain and snow much longer and needed a change in scenery. Besides art, Helen takes care of her garden at home and really enjoys reading. She even carries a book around with her just in case she has any new ideas, she can sketch them down and get back to them later. For Helen’s exhibition, Silent Screams, her work explores the idea that when you’re looking at a carousel, the horses look like they’re screaming but no noise is coming out.

Formal Analysis:

As stated above, Helen’s work shows the horses on a carousel and how they look like they’re screaming but you just can’t hear them. So, in most of her work, she just sat down and would sketch a bunch of different carousel’s that she would go and see. Most of the materials used in the pieces were oils, pastels, print making, and for some, wood cravings. The nature of the lines were very precise, and I would even say jagged. The color scheme consists mostly of light and cool, like blues and oranges.

Content Analysis:

Before speaking to Helen, I was pretty confused as to why there were so many pieces with carousels, but she made it very clear as to why there were. Helen really loves antique carousels and will go visit them everywhere and get ideas from all of them to make a piece out of them. I really liked the idea of Silent Screams because before she mentioned the way the horses looked, I had never thought about it before. She really opened my eyes in that way and now overtime I see a carousel I’m going to think of her artwork.

My Experience:

My favorite piece from the entire exhibit was the blue one in the very back. For this piece, Helen sat on the carousel while it was on and sketched it for over four hours! That’s why it has the sense that it looked like it was in motion. So far, Helen was my favorite artist to talk to because she had such a passion for what she does and I think that it’s so important to love what you do. I’m inspired by her and her work to go out and do what you want to do with you’re life and to enjoy every second of it. Overall, I’m so happy I was able to meet Helen and get to know her more as a person.