Helen Stacey graduated from the South Australian School of Art 1967, became an Art Senior with the Education Department of South Australia and a professional artist in 1988. In 1997 she completed a Masters in Visual Art (UniSA) and a Masters by Research in 2004 on cross-cultural visual art exchange between Malaysia & Australia. She is a Fellow of the SA Royal Society of Arts.

While in the Riverland of South Australia, she commenced a comprehensive exhibition program in four states and overseas. In 1990 she held a solo exhibition at the National Library of China, Beijing, at the invitation of the then Australian Ambassador to China. In 1991 she established a studio gallery in Strathalbyn. A continuing interest in cross-cultural interaction through visual art has lead her to participate in a conference for Eastern European artists in Poland in 1993, conduct a cultural program in Gatchina, Russia and collaborate on various projects to further reconciliation in Australia.

She has curated numerous exhibitions including Journey & Discovery in London 1997 at Mall Galleries, Galeri Petronas in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1997 and Hill-Smith Fine Art, Adelaide, 1997. In 1999 and 2000 she coordinated the Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibitions.

Since 1997 she has been involved with numerous cross-cultural projects, such as being curator and consultant for visual art exchanges between Malaysia an Australia, including acting as Country Arts South Australia’s co-consultant for the 2000 Telstra Adelaide Festival of Arts exhibition Di Antara Dua Pedalaman – Between Remote Regions. In 2004 she and fellow artist, Sheila Whittam, conducted a week’s art program for asylum seeker women at Baxter Detention Centre. The solo exhibition, Negotiating Boundaries, investigating colonisation and spirituality of the lakes and Coorong region, was first shown at the Royal SA Society of Arts in 2007 which included collaborative works with Ngarrindjeri artist and Elder, Ellen Trevorrow. This exhibition, together with the Ngarrindjeri exhibition, Working Together, is completing a touring schedule to three South Australian regional galleries. In 2008 she participated in the Kanawinka project, Volcanoes – layers of meaning, at Riddoch Regional Art Gallery, Mount Gambier. In 2012 she was one of 6 artists selected by ForestrySA for an artist-in-residence project and exhibition, Forest of Dreams, June 2012, with work largely resulting from collaboration with the Kuitpo Forest-Prospect Hill community where her forebears were first settlers, and the Peramangk Heritage Association.

Her studio work mostly revolves around representations of the land and explorations of its layered meanings of history, myth and metaphor and questions of reconciliation and spirituality. She expresses ideas in a variety of mediums, including painting, layered digital photography, assemblage, installation, sculpture and textiles.

Her work is held in numerous public and private collections in Australia and overseas, including Artbank, Country Arts South Australia, The Adelaide Childrens’ Hospital, the Australian High Commission China and the Ipoh State Art Gallery collection, Malaysia.

Helen J. Stacey, MVA 1997, MVA (Research) 2004, University of South Australia

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