Wk10-Artist Conversation-Helen Werner Cox


Artist: Helen Werner Cox

Exhibition: Silent Screams
Media: Ink, Charcoal, Oil Pastels, Pastel, Paper, Monoprint
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: http://www.HelenWernerCox.com
Instagram: Artist have no Instragram

About the Artist

Ms. Cox is currently a graduate student at CSULB. She is currently working on her graduate degree in Master’s of Fine Arts, in Drawing and Painting. This is her last semester here at CSULB and she will graduating at Spring 2016.

Ms. Cox was born in central New York state, was once a country girl when she was young, where her classmate will have to feed the farm animals before going to school.

Ms. Cox have was interesting in arts, and thereby with her excellent result, she got into the Boston’s University, School of Fine Arts. However, she did not continue and get her MFA right away, but instead, she got a master’s degree in educational management in Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and start her teaching career.

Ms. Cox moved here to Southern California in 1988, and start teaching a middle school at North Long Beach. After she have retired, she enrolled into the graduate art school here in CSULB.

Formal Analysis

This exhibition reminds me of my childhood, it uses a theme that majority of us are familiar with – the Marry Go Ground horses.





There are many pieces that Ms. Cox created, it comes in variety of sizes. But when we asked what is her favorite, she mentioned this painting as it captures her energy very well:


The shape of the piece, Silent Screams is almost like a perfect square.

The colors of the art pieces that Ms. Cox created are colorful.

The scale of the art pieces is huge.

The texture of the smooth, but feels rough due to the painting effects.

Content Analysis

Ms Cox is a full-of-life experiences artist, she uses her view, her life experiences, to illustrate the society.

The main theme of this exhibition is Chaos. Ms Cox mentioned that the society is just like the Marry go round, it just keep going round and round and round. We did the same mistake, and we still repeat the same exact mistake every time we move, it means that we are going back to where we were at the beginning.

Ms Cox explained that there was an artist that comes out with a different theory based on that. That artist admits that in out society, it does happen, people are basically walking in a circle, and they keep walking in that circle until the day they die. But for every mistake they make, they learned something new from it, and therefore, improvements are made, so each time when they complete one circle, they moved 1 level up, and continue another circle, forming a spiral form.

However, from Ms Cox point of view, it is not the truth. After all these years she is living and moving into different places, all she sees is people keep making the same mistake and no lesson is learned in our society. With this issue, she felt angry, fear and anxiety into her art work.

My Experience

Interviewing Ms Cox opened my eyes to a broader view of our society now. When I first walked into the exhibition, I thought that it would be a regular cute imaginative exhibition as the first time I saw was the marry go round. But when I took a step forward and checked on the title of the exhibition, I realized that I was wrong, it is called “silent screams”. When I look closely to the horses painting, I realized that they look like they are struggling, and none of them are happy.

When I saw little, I used to thinks that the horses on the marry go round must be very sad and lonely as they will need to spin at the exact same spot every day, every time until the say they “die”. Surprisingly, the thought I had somewhat matched with the theme, it is the sadness of our society, and the loneliness of our society. Ms Cox is right, everything is going round and round, again and again, as if there will never be an end. We are moving forward every single day, but sadly we are not getting anywhere, because we will go back to the exact same spot after some times. Only if we are lucky enough, we will be able to break through the endless circle and move a step upwards to obtain a spiral form in stead of a circle.



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