A Positive Journey with HELEN LACK, Contemporary Artist

Introduced by Marilyn Comparetto FRSA and Marysia Zipser

I first met Helen at ART @ MG, Mardlebury Gallery, in Datchworth four years ago when she presented me with her large abstract pieces. It was clear to see that she had unleashed her passion, emotions and vibrant energy on to the canvases using a kaleidoscope of luscious, thickly laid colours for all to see. Since then I have been following Helen’s incredible artistic journey and I have seen her soar to new heights. More recently Helen has been revealing her story around her own personal battle with cancer. Through this difficult journey Helen has given strength and encouragement to everyone around her…what an inspiration! Marilyn Comparetto

I have known and collaborated with Marilyn Comparetto at Datchworth and Stevenage, Hertfordshire, and here in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, for several years, and it was through our mutual social media that I connected with Helen Lack in January this year. The colourful vibrancy and dynamism of Helen’s artworks immediately grabbed me and pulled me in, making me keen to learn more about her as a person and her motivation. Marysia Zipser

So this has become a collaborative blog opportunity to showcase the impressive growth and range of Helen’s artistic development. Our six questions and her answers are below accompanied by photo images for you to understand and appreciate the positive and inspirational journey she has taken and is taking. ​ Please Click on the images to enlarge and hover over to read the Captions. *All artworks and photographs subject to copyright Helen Lack*

Q1. Your journey as a contemporary artist has an interesting beginning. Can you explain about it?

I started out many years ago in a different medium, as a fashion photographer, working in London and Australia. As a photographer I was always fascinated by detail, styling, creating a theme and storyline behind the photographic shoots. For many years, I worked with the top model agencies in London and Sydney creating test shots, casting models for model portfolios and doing editorial work for magazines. In Australia I worked as a photographer in advertising agencies undertaking commercial and corporate work. One of my highlights was working as a photographic assistant for one of the top fashion photographers in Australia, Graham Shearer, so I had the opportunity to work with both Elle and Vogue magazine. Graham Shearer

After some time, raising a family, I decided to have a break from fashion photography and explore different mediums. One day I happened to be in a cafe in Moggerhanger, Bedfordshire, when a leaflet caught my attention. It was about art lessons to be held in a small hall at Sandy, by an artist called Jean Picton. Jean comes from a theatre background and as soon as we met, I felt an instant connection. She would for a year, whilst I attended art classes, become my mentor. She inspired me in so many ways. Jean Picton Jean encouraged me “ to express my thoughts in an individual way”. Meanwhile, I just became determined to develop and try new techniques. A whole new world had opened for me and it was Art. After spending time having art lessons, I made the decision to go alone; solo and group exhibitions quickly followed and then Art Fairs in London and Galleries.

Q2. Your bravery, honesty, passion and resilience have shone through this year. Can you highlight this to our readers?

2020 has had a huge impact on myself, family and people around me. January began with the dream holiday, I returned back to Australia after 25 years; I used to live in Darwin and Sydney for ten years. It was an amazing experience to enjoy this wonderful country that means so much to me and share so many precious moments and memories with my dear family. Our trip was to take us through China, seeing many amazing sights in Beijing and visiting The Great Wall of China. Then we flew to Sydney and spent time enjoying the coastal walks, beaches, botanical gardens and Sydney Opera House. Our journey then took us to Port Douglas, north of Cairns which was immensely tropical and a beautiful place to visit.

Upon return to the UK, my life was to change dramatically!

One day in January, I discovered a lump in my breast, many tests and scans followed. Within four weeks I was given the diagnosis that I had Triple Negative Cancer.