14 Jan Hellen Ascoli
To translate Hellen Ascoli’s work into words you have to refer to her manual work. One could say that she thinks with her hands. She is an artist, a weaver and an educator. Her interests are in understanding culture from the perspective of materials and affective relationships. From these analyses she traces complex relationships between body, materials and space, mapping complex relationships between power systems and the economy.
From her first works there is a concern to translate different forms of intimacy into different sculptural materials. From peeling grapes to weaving, her work responds to meditations on the connections between people, objects and languages. Her processes are long, meticulous and collaborative. Objects, textiles and installations become a record of memories or materializations of these relationships with other people.
In Encuentro (2014) we can see a way of getting close to the landscape of the Huehuetenango mountains in the northwest of Guatemala by speaking to it through touch. With her whole body covered by a fabric/cocoon which functions as a second skin, the artist can feel the landscape. This project ends with an invitation to spectators to dress and roll in this fabric/cocoon as a way of recognizing their own touch or body.