Exhibition: Silent Screams
Media: Oil pastel, prints, water based material
Gallery: Gastov West Gallery
Helen Werner Cox is a student that has showcased her work multiple times, but is currently showing one of her last solo shows at CSULB due to graduating this semester. Cox is originally from Boston, Massachusetts and has showcased her work multiple times throughout her career. Her biggest inspiration for these pieces she did was a carousel, from a young age she was fascinated by it and it’s functions. Most of her pieces make it seem as if you’re in a carousel. The merry-go-round that really struck a nerve and helped in creating most of these pieces, was the carousel found in Griffith Park. Her work is a reflection of how she sees mankind’s inability to advance in society, hence the merry-go-round.
Helen shows many of her artistic abilities in her artwork due to using oil pastels, prints, carvings, paint, and water colors. In her artwork you can clearly see the passion in which she puts into her work. You can also see how much time and effort goes into it due to the detail and emotion that is clearly shown. In order to really capture the essence of the carousel, she ended up going to Griffith Park and rode the carousels for four hours straight while sketching the horses to really get a good look. She also went and isolated herself in a warehouse where many carousels were found so she could truly get the greatest ideas for her beautiful artwork.
Cox’s metaphor of the merry-go-rounds shows how society is trapped in an endless whirl or spiral in which there is no advancement. As if society where trying to get a new solution by staying in the same place and just going in circles. She portrays society’s inability to “move on” or “move forward” beautifully in her artwork. The horses expressions perfectly describe the mood she’s going for, they look miserable and confused as to why they can’t seem to break away from the endless spiral.
Seeing Cox’s work brings a whole different element to a carousel, it’s not simply just a bunch of horses going nowhere but in circles. It can represent so much more, especially when the facial expressions can be changed. Thought the carousels typically bring a happier feeling to people, being able to bring a different aspect to the table really makes you think about other aspects of our lives that may seem to bring happiness but can also affect us negatively.