A singularly unique artist, Helen Marten has been active since the late noughties, quickly rising into high profile with her adventurous and compelling pieces: vibrant mixtures of sculptures and prints in an uncountably vast array of different media, ranging from intricate metal and plastic sculptures to found objects as everyday as a loose bike chain, or a box of cotton ear swabs.
Additionally, her work generally incorporates some element of print: vast two-dimensional collages, which ground her work’s sculptural components in an often dark and oppressive background. Her pieces are both exploratory and an invitation to explore, with the distinct feeling of some key information deliberately omitted: a challenge to the viewer to pull apart the chaos before them, and chaos it certainly is. In one piece at the 2014 exhibition ‘MIRRORCITY’, a basket which seems part-pushchair, part-toy spaceship is leered over by an array of eyes in print behind it; at 2015’s ‘All the World’s Futures’, a macabre pair of discarded fabric legs bears morbid implications, building a distinctly uncomfortable atmosphere that serves to accentuate the meticulously-constructed sense of being an intruder wholly out of place.
Marten’s work captures the uncanny exquisitely: a sensory collision to barrage the eyes with a deluge of clashing textures, colours and forms, and the inclusion of everyday objects into the work produces a sense of unsettling familiarity that is sure to leave the viewer’s interest well and truly captured. Marten’s work is an offer to the eyes to delve, roam and dig through her elaborate installations, and with such an exciting cocktail of shapes, materials and emotions on display, it’s undoubtedly an offer that’s hard to refuse