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Closer to home is the latest exhibition by sculptor Helaine Blumenfeld. This explores the theme of intimacy across the breadth of her work. In her early years, she explored intimacy as the profound knowledge of oneself, translating this into individual, abstract sculptural forms. Later, this theme was extended to reflect notions of introspection, closeness, dependence and independence, seen here in pieces such as Shadow Figures (2012) and Souls (2001). In more recent pieces, such as Exodus V (2019) and Exodus VI (2020), she considers relationships within and between societies. The larger concept of ‘Intimacy and Isolation’ has shown itself in sculptures with an interest in what it means to be connected and share perspectives. With Intimacy on the Edge (2019) and Intimacy and Isolation (2019), she commented on the lack of intimacy that exists globally despite the increasing interconnectivity that technology involves.
Her newest works in marble – The Light Within Aurora (2022) and The Light Within Hope (2022) – represent a new insight. Blumenfeld says, ‘Emerging from the isolation of lockdown. I feel a new energy in approaching my work. As I became immersed in carving my new models, I had a kind of epiphany. I arrived at another level of understanding. Whether the model was vertical, round, or in several parts, it was describing THE LIGHT WITHIN, the light that illuminates and defines us as individuals and as communities. Each sculpture explores the light projected by our inner spirit, the light that gives our life meaning, and when shared, can inspire and illuminate those around us.’
The Light Within Aurora (2022). Photograph by Erio Forli