Wayne Brookes

Represented by Despard Gallery

I first met Helene as an undergraduate at the Tasmanian School of Art in 1976 and we have shared numerous adventures throughout the decades since as colleagues, examiners, fellow artists, but most importantly, as friends. While I was not actually present at 1995’s ‘Hanging Party’ The Weeding Kitchen has loomed large on my horizon as a citadel of passion, hospitality and entertainment. For virtually 3 decades my November was enhanced by Helene’s generosity of spirit by accommodating members of the Assessment Panel. At the tail end of scrutinising up to100 candidates per day, the Abbott Street  kitchen provided a welcoming oasis of comfort, conversation and conviviality.

It is quite appropriate that ‘Cornucopia, the Last Gasp’ from 2012 be included in this show because, as the conclusive piece for the ‘If it’s Not Baroque, Don’t Fix It’ exhibition, it represents a work that was actually partially generated in that very kitchen. I worked on it over the course of my stay and, on a couple of occasions, awoke to discover I had face-planted with exhaustion (If that’s what you want to call it!). Acrylics are very forgiving. Helene’s kitchen has been a perpetual Mecca for creative energy for innumerable artistic souls and my gratitude for that experience will be eternal.