Helena Schepens lives and works in Antwerp and trained as a silversmith and jewellery designer at the Royal Academy, Antwerp and the Royal College, London. She was laureate of The Goldsmith’s Company Award for Silversmithing, London in 2006. Since then she became finalist in several international awards as the Loewe Craft Prize, Madrid, 2017, the European Prize for Applied Arts, Mons, Belgium, 2015 and 2018 and the Silver Award, Schoonhoven, Holland in 2012 and 2018. Helena was nominated for the Henry van de Velde Award Young Talent, Brussels in 2011 and the WCC Europe Award, 2009. Her work was on display in several smaller exhibitions all over Europe, but also in international major shows as the 15th and 17th Silver triennial in Hanau, the European Prize of Applied Arts Mons, the Loewe Craft Prize 2017, Madrid and the famous Homo Faber expo in 2018 in Venice.
As silversmith she is fascinated by the contemplative process of raising. Through repeated hammering and glowing of a three dimensional volume out of a flat silver plate she slowly raises the final form. The magical moment of working the surface opens the massive object, gives it life and a gossamer pattern. Those patterns create shadow drawings under and behind the object. Her attention for transparency, characteristic for her silverware, is as a “time in between”, the interval between breathing in and out, or between two music notes. The drilled and sawed patterns are based on natural themes as foliage and microscopic diatoms. Her wall objects are computer designed and lasered. Helena succeeds in giving them the same sensibility as her handmade silver.
Helena says about her work: “Through this idea, as well as through the balance between the massive and openworked parts, I try to emphasize the underlying connection between two opposite concepts. Emptiness and fullness, light and dark, me and the other, to be and not-being, the known and the unknown, body and soul, past and future, space and limit, order and chaos, growth and decay, fragmentation and connetion,… are in this regard themes that speak to me. In the survey that feeds my work, a metaphor for life is hidden: a contiunuous search for the balance between two opposite poles.