About

When I paint, I like to imagine the moment when the new owners hang the picture in their house. I think about the members of the household sitting over their morning coffee and toast, seeing the painting in the corner of their eye, and being imperceptibly affected by the colours and tones of my artwork. They don’t realise it in the heat of their daily routine, but they are happy – happy to be together as a family, and happy to be starting a new day. And my work shares in their happiness and contributes to it in its own small way.

Helena-Alexandra Reut

Graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Arts, Department of Graphics. Also studied Photography in Warsaw School of Photography and Graphic Design; Media Design in The British Higher School of Art and Design; Graphic Design in Moscow Institute of Applied Arts. Received my first education at Russian State University for the Humanities, Institute of Religious Studies.

Helena-Alexandra Reut
HELENA-ALEXANDRA REUT, WARSAW, 2010

Born in Minsk, Belarus. That’s behind Poland and just before Russia. My country was not exactly blessed by history. But that’s exactly what makes it special – everything is delicate and slightly on edge.

There I started painting, on the wallpaper in my grandmother’s apartment. This led my parents to send me to an artistic school.

In my youthful teen years I rebelled a lot, and no longer wanted to become an artist. I started studying history, and after that, in Moscow, history of religion.

At the age of 20 I moved to Moscow, where I spent 5 years.

I worked as a journalist for a number of Moscow periodicals, and also in radio. I liked the freedom of the job, the creativity, opportunities to witness interesting events, and meeting unusual people. I didn’t like the fact of being tied to one language, the lack of opportunity to travel at length, and not being able to live in different countries.

Maybe because of this, and maybe because my experimental teenage years were finished, I decided to study graphic design.

I did not actually leave journalism right until my final departure from Moscow – though I did quit my job at the radio.

I started working as a designer. Here as well, I was very lucky. I was given interesting projects, met interesting people; people I wanted to know, compete with, catch up with. This was probably the happiest period of my life: lots of creativity, a great many parties, plenty of study, admirers, work, friends, champagne, music, exhibitions.

In 2005 I combined my knowledge of religion with that of web-design to create a website for the Catholic Church in Russia. This was when my life began to change. New friends appeared and so did new goals. My last year in Moscow was spent living in a Catholic orphanage. Although I was also working at the same time in a massive media corporation, it was a very peaceful time. Then again, there was a lot of fun and a lot of laughter – but maybe not everyone saw this.

In 2007 I move to Poland, having won a place on the Scholarship Programme of the Culture Minister of Poland “Gaude Polonia”. I carry out a Photographic Media Project entitled “LIFE transIT”, realised in “WRO” Media Arts Centre in Wrocław.
The first 6 months were spent in Wroclaw, where I worked on a photo-media project on cities and people. This was, again, a completely different and pleasant time of my life. If you ever have the opportunity, definitely go to Wroclaw. It’s beautiful.

In 2009 and 2010 I study at the Warsaw School of Photography and the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, Faculty of Graphic Arts. I begin to gradually move away from graphic design and advertising, in which I had worked previously. This is a time of trying out new techniques and media (including analogue and digital photography, printmaking, and of course, painting.) I spend two great years experimenting. Works from this period can be seen in the Photography and Drawing and Etching sections of this website.

It was a year which returned me to active social life, to the everyday reality of crowds of people, parties and music. Thanks to this, I met the people who introduced me to Simon.

He invited me over to his place, put on Explosions in the Sky, and we’ve been together ever since. And you say things like that don’t happen. They do.

After graduate in Autumn 2010, my husband and I move to Cambridge, where he begins his doctorate. I have a beautiful studio and unlimited time for creative pursuits.

In July 2012 our first child is born. The nine months of pregnancy certainly leave their mark on my art. I create a large range of female portraits, and work with Slavic traditions of cross-stitch – an exploration of femininity, roots and traditions.

DOMINICAN PRIORY OF ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, CAMBRIDGE, 2013
DOMINICAN PRIORY OF ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, CAMBRIDGE, 2013

I am completely immersed in female portraits, invigorated by motherhood and a gradually growing reputation. By the end of the year, I finish the painting series Acta Botanica, a “book” about women and plants. This is a reflection on modernity and tradition, on the forgotten medicinal qualities of herbs, and on the fact that it was often women who knew how to apply natural remedies. It is a story about stories passed down from generation to generation. Finally, it is simultaneously a very personal confession and a universal tale; a serious contemplation on the world and a lighthearted moment of play.

In Autumn 2014 I find myself wanting to embark on something more light-hearted than the portraits that I have concentrated on in recent years. I create a few images of rabbits, and as they are known to do, the creatures start to multiply and soon our entire home is filled with bunnies which fly, sing, dance and read. Dominic considers them to be much more interesting artworks than those serious portraits, especially when they feature planes, cars or both.
The animals allow me a bit more freedom to express myself in a playful, and therefore safe, manner.

Now we live in Berlin. The most amazing city of all where I was lucky enough to live.

My work more and more includes religious art. Now I pay more attention to technique. I admire the harmony of the Renaissance era, and use old painting techniques to achieve depth and magic in the picture to apply ideas from drawing and engraving to painted works, mixing techniques and discovering new effects.

I always retain a place for irony, both in art and in life.

Selected Exhibitions:

2018 DENNITSA. Festival der Kunst aus dem postsowjetischen Raum, Berlin, German
2017 DrobsKunst Galerie, Berlin, German
2016 Gutman-Art, Naive Kunst – Galerie, Berlin, German
2015 Gutman-Art, Naive Kunst – Galerie, Berlin, German
2014 Royal College of Art, London, UK
2014 Metropolitan Pavilion, New York, USA
2014 Halesworth Gallery, Halesworth, UK
2014 ArtWorks, Michaelhouse, Cambridge, UK
2013 “STRARTA”, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
2013 Тutto Un-Museo Su Una-Parete, Centro d’arte Vista, Rome, Italy
2013 “Art is the Word”, The Bank Art Centre, Eye, Suffolk, UK
2013 TAArt, Temple Meads, Bristol, UK
2013 New Chelsea Art Fair, Chelsea Town Hall, London, UK
2013 Easter Show, Carina Haslam Art Gallery, Missenden, Bucks, UK
2013 Individual Exhibition, King’s Art Centre, Cambridge, UK
2012 Affordable Art Fair, London, UK
2012 Carina Haslam Art, Summer Exhibition, Missenden, UK
2012 “Fairytale”, i2 Art Gallery, Saffron Walden, UK
2012 Affordable Art Fair, Bristol, UK
2011 Il Museo su una parete. Ar(T)cevia, Jesi, Arcevia (Ancona), Italy
2011 Affordable Art Fair, London, UK
2011 Individual Exhibition, i2 Art Gallery, Saffron Walden, UK
2011 Individual Exhibition “What is Belarus?”, King’s Art Centre, Cambridge, UK
2009-2010 Print series “Here/Now or Nowhere?”, Poland
2007 Scholarship Programme of the Culture Minister of Poland “Gaude Polonia” – Photographic Media Project “LIFE transIT”, realised in “WRO” Media Arts Centre, Wrocław, Poland
2006 Individual Exhibition “Circus”, Exhibition Hall of the MIAA, Moscow, Russia
2006 Creative Competition of the Moscow Institute of Applied Arts, 1st place for Graphics and Illustration, Prize and Scholarship from University Rector
2005 Exhibition “The Invisible”, Exhibition Hall of the MIAA, Moscow, Russia