Interview with artist Helle Borg Hansen
Helle is a visual artist and dancer from Denmark who currently lives in Skibby and works in various mediums. She’s known for her Red Flamenco dancers and combining exhibitions with a show with her group “Flamenco de Colores.” She paints in oil on canvas, watercolor, and bronze, and she is exceptionally skilled at creating the colors she uses from pure pigments and linseed oil.
Helle, tell us about yourself.
I am a woman filled with energy and creativity. I am an artist, flamenco dancer, play the flute, and hate to sit down doing nothing. My life is filled with many activities, and I never get too old to learn new things.
I love animals and have had cats and horses for many years and have worked with my horses every day. When I lost my last horse, I started to row a sea kayak because I must do something outside in nature.
How do you define art?
When I create art, I feel that I´m not alone. Something often happens where I have no influence, and my customers see things I was unaware of. Art is something more significant than the artist.
If I define my art, I can say that my paintings are a mixture of figurative and abstract, and my style is expressionist and very colorful. My motifs are dancers in motion and wild animals with intense eyes. It is movements and energy; I want to express in my paintings – and lots of female power.
My sculptures are a bit raw, with a focus on movement and body language.
When and how did you get started as an artist?
I am an artist who had spent many years as a music teacher before I dared to be a professional artist in 2008 and believed in my abilities.
All my life, I have been creative. I’ve always loved colors, drawing, and being creative in many ways, but I was pressed to academic education.
Despite this, I never let go of creativity, and I continued drawing. In 1988, I started to learn about painting and colors from different artists, and in 1992, I had my first exhibition. From then on, I continued developing my skills as an artist.
What made you want to extend your paintings with sculpture?
I am a curious and experimental person, so I had to try modeling too to make my motives in 3D. It was good because I found out that I love it.
What's the most challenging life experience you've been through as an artist?
As an artist, you must have many tasks. All the time, you must improve your technique, do a lot of marketing, and at the same time, hold on to yourself.
When you create art to sell, you risk losing your focus and forgetting why you wanted to create in the first place. You risk thinking of what the customers want and not what you need to make from your own heart. I believe that is the most challenging part of being an artist.
Can you tell us a bit about your art style?
I have found my special style, and I hold on to creating art from my own heart.
And that I make my colors from pure color pigments and linseed oil. In that way, my colors are obvious, durable, and with a special glow.
What are your great experiences with visiting art galleries?
I had one memorable experience when I was only ten years old. I was in Firenze, and we went to Galleria dell´Accademia to see Michelangelo's David. It was at the end of a long room, but what caught my eye were many incomplete statues along the walls. They looked like living people struggling to come free of the stones. That life and movement I saw in those sculptures is an active part of my art.
When I paint the dancers, they start to move from the first drawing line, and the animals look at me from the first approach to the eyes. They ask me to free them from the canvas - or the clay - and make them alive.
How do you manage to be a visual artist and a dancer at the same time?
That is easy because the dance is an inspiration to my paintings and sculptures. When I dance, the dance will have an end. But then, I can fasten the dance on the canvas. I create the dancers from the inside and feel the movements, balance, and muscle tension while I paint or model.
What's your unforgettable flamenco performance?
I think it was my very first performance. I felt that the dance completely caught me, and Santa Claus could have entered with all his reindeers. I would not have noticed it.
What is fantastic about flamenco is its raw and honest power. As a flamenco performer, you don't have to fake happiness. You can use any feeling. You can dance your anger, sorrow, or any deep dark feeling. Music and dance can release emotion and transform it. You don't have to displace any of your feelings. You can use them for your art.
What do you feel when you're invited to exhibit your work or join art associations?
That is very different. That depends on the exhibition place. If I were invited to a famous gallery or museum, I would be very honored. But the local library would not
But recently, I joined an association of artists who run a gallery in Hillerød. That is fantastic because I now have a gallery where I belong. We are 22 artists who exhibit regularly and every month some new guest artists. There is a café and a scene for concerts and performances to perform my flamenco there with my group. It is called
What made you choose Canvy, and what do you like about it?
I needed to show my paintings on some virtual walls, and I joined Tobias as a tester when he started this project. We met at a video challenge on Facebook and found out that I was an apparent user of his vision.
I like that it is evolving and that they take one's proposals seriously.
Do you have exciting plans for next year? What are they?
I plan to engage in my new gallery and, at the same time, improve my visibility on the web. And, of course, develop myself further as an artist.
Find Helle Borg Hansen and her artwork here.