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Helen J. Young

Old industrial buildings seem to hold a resonance of the past for me. When I discover that a building is to be demolished or altered, I have an urgency to record it in some way. Whereas many people may feel that these buildings are depressing, I am seduced by their grime and melancholy.

My recent work has been involved with the demolition of Didcot’s South Cooling Towers and the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station.

To capture the remains of these buildings I started using mixed media including acrylic, polyfilla, glue, ash, and textiles on board and roofing felt. An installation evolved as my thoughts turned to ideas of loss and memory. The sculpture Iyashi (Healing), followed in response to the need for redemption in some way. It incorporates Kintsugi, the ancient Japanese art of repairing pottery with gold and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.