Ms Jorgenson is an artist local to the area in which I live. I first saw her work at the Tweed Gallery, an amazingly forward thinking and popular public regional gallery. I do appreciate textile art, but… There are many textile ‘artists’ who are just little old ladies who do pleasant knitting. Which can be amazing and beautiful. But a textile artist who uses the medium to express an artistic idea is fantastic! Helle Jorgenson is one such artist. From the beginning of her process it’s about the idea. Her work seems to be conceptually sound and follows through the entire work from medium to creation and finished product.
“Before becoming an artist I was a biologist, which allowed me to observe and understand the extraordinary structural beauty of the forms in the natural world on a microscopic level. Creating and assembling the collections mimics the basic process behind the study of animal and plant morphology. In this way I attempt to understand form and create order out of chaos.”
Born in Denmark, Helle Jorgenson moved to Australia when she was 13. More recently she migrated again from the Northern Beaches of Sydney to the Northern Rivers of NSW, more specifically the Tweed Valley. After working in the science arena for a decade, she moved onto horticultralism and Art. Along with crochet, Jorgenson is a collector, weaver and embroiderer.
“… a woolly celebration of the intersection of higher geometry and feminine handicraft,and a testimony to the disappearing wonders of the marine world.”
Her process of using discarded plastic bags was taken up by the group (which now only takes contributions created from reused plastics) which ‘validated’ her art making. She had been creating sea creatures in this way for a while before she discovered the work of Dr. Daina Taimina. Dr. Taimina is a Mathematician who decided to create physical models of hyperbolic space with crochet, her work has influenced a new generation of textile artists including the creators of the Crochet Coral Reef, Christine Wertheim and Margaret Wertheim.
I love everything about Jorgenson’s work. It is so well thought out. And contagious. I have friends who jumped on the plastic-bag-crocheted-reef bandwagon. But I think it is the way that she exhibits that I find most inspiring. There are so many ways that you could display tiny little crocheted sea creatures, Jorgenson pins them to a wall with plenty of space around each. Or places them in small glass vials. This approach was extremely popular, every piece in the collection was sold, apart from one. Which was stolen. I loved them when I saw them and desperately wanted to buy one. But how could you choose just one?
Helle Jorgenson also creates ‘softwear’. Textile jewellery. Predominatly made from recycled wool, her beautiful wearable art was available in her Etsy Shop, which seems to be currently unmanned. She had a collection for sale in the Powerhouse Museum shop which I can’t find any extra info on, but if anyone can tell me if they know where to find some, please msg me!