My work is comprised of three overlapping directions of inquiry: community, place and the body/dress. Dress is the main component of my sculptural work and my performance. In all of my work, the location is very important; I look for ways that people connect to the place they are in or choose to travel or emigrate to. Much of my work focuses on clothing worn by women in different time periods because garments illustrate the societal conditions of the time and can provide powerful metaphors for the human condition. My focus on clothing also allows me to explore women’s labour and needle- based techniques that are being forgotten in favour of mass production.
Based in Vancouver and Italy, where she runs an artist residency Helena Wadsley works with video, textiles, paint, and photography. She teaches visual arts in Vancouver at Emily Carr University and Langara College. She has participated in artist residencies in the Dominican Republic, the Arctic, Spain, Portugal and Italy. In the last year and a half, her work has been shown in Coquitlam, Prince George, Williams Lake, and Abbotsford, BC as well as Texas, Portugal and Italy. She has upcoming exhibitions in Kamloops and Castlegar as well as in Portugal and Italy.