Helen Cantwell

Artist Statement

My work aims to explore ideas of advertising culture and crowd manipulation through social media streams, particularly why we as consumers feel the need to constantly change our lifestyles to fit an online image. Expanding on this, I look at the effect of social media saturation on the identities and psyches of a generation raised online. Working in expanded image making , my practice layers methods of digital collage, print media, appropriation techniques and installation, drawing on the visuals of social media and inserting autobiographical imagery. Using marketing materials such as acrylic and steel I aim to emulate advertisement aesthetics, while transparency and colour saturation reflect internet and screen media aesthetics. In a broader sense, my work explores the systems that are put in place to control and censor people, or to use people as a source of income and how this can affect us both as individuals and as a collective. I find that I explore my ideas best through digital media and collage, but it is where they go from there that excites me, as I enjoy working with print, drawing, screen media and large scale/ mural based painting.

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