Hélène Bautista

Artist Biography

Born in 1974 in France, I’ve been teaching french and foreign literatures for over twenty years and I always draw what literature inspires to me. Thinking of a professional reconversion in 2012, I became a printmaker and illustrator.

Artist Statement

Ink has always been my favourite artistic medium, and I thought for many years at engraving as the culmination of artistic illustrations. Gustave Doré, Honoré Daumier, Félix Vallotton feeded my imagination as I was a child, and I wanted to discover by myself engraving and printmaking. The first time I tried, I was sure it was the artistic medium I have to work with.

I work with intaglio as well as with linocutting, and I love both of these techniques, but I don’t use them for the same purposes. I couldn’t say what makes me choose one from the other, but it appears clear to me when I have an idea. It probably has something to do with the way I want to work with lights and contrasts, though I prefer working in black and white only in linocutting works.

My pieces of work are mostly creations coming from my imagination, and even if they are sometimes illustrations for one precise book or purpose, I work by inspiration, by lights or compositions. Inspired by literature, but also by old movies, I like to create atmospheres and to suggest, by one single print, a part of a story. And here is probably the poetic aspect of my work : to suggest, and not to tell the whole story. I want to let the spectator free to imagine and dream of it.