Spot 3, 2003
14 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches on 16 x 11 3/4 inch paper
Signed Edition of 50
(Great Britain, b. 1957)
Helen Sear's Spot series was made in response to the British bird collection at the Elizabethan stately home of Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, England, which was one of the first British natural history museums. The intention of this series of "portraits" was to emulate their human counterparts, the hall's ancestors, and to challenge the dominant position of human over animal. The photographs have been reconstructed digitally, masking over the eyes of the ornithological specimens. By intervening in the process of looking, Sear forces the viewer to question their relationship between themselves and the viewed. Sear has exhibited her work in venues throughout Europe, including the Musee de l'Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland; Culturgest, Lison, Portugal; UK Art 2000, Berlin; Zinc Gallery, Stockholm; Maidstone Library and Museum, UK; Kettles Yard, Cambridge, England; and Yard Gallery, Nottingham, England. Her works are in numerous private and public collections. Sear currently teaches in the Fine Art Painting department at the Royal College of Art, London.