Histories in the Making: Helen Storey & Elaine Wilson

Spring 2015 Exhibition & Symposium
Dorich House Museum

As part of celebrations marking 140 years of Kingston School of Art, social artist and designer Helen Storey presents Life on the Outskirts: Making Sense and Use of a Creative Life at Dorich House Museum, the former studio home of artist Dora Gordine.

An associated symposium, on Friday 20 February 2-5pm, will bring together Helen Storey and sculptor Elaine Wilson to ask how creative practitioners respond to personal and other archives and the place of past artefacts within a forward looking practice. Storey will be speaking in conversation with Andrew Ibi, course director for MA Fashion at Kingston University. A selection of sculptural ceramic works by Elaine Wilson will also be integrated into the museum collection to accompany the symposium itself, and can be viewed on Dorich House Museum Open Days on 13 and 27 March 2015 (11am-4pm).

Helen Storey’s career began at Kingston Polytechnic as a student in the Fashion department. After working for major Italian fashion houses and establishing a highly successful fashion business in her name, she now works on public projects that exist in the spaces between design, science, technology, art and the sustainability of creative human practice in contemporary life.

Elaine Wilson is an artist working primarily in ceramic sculpture. Her practice examines received notions of femininity, looking at the way women see themselves and have been seen in historical and social contexts. Many of her sculptures incorporate ceramic processes combined with diverse materials and objects that often reference historical artefacts and ornament. Figurines developed during her Norma Lipman Research Fellowship will be exhibited at Dorich House Museum. The works draw on the contexts of ornamentation and the romantic ideal.

Dora Gordine (1895-1991)
Talented, charismatic and dedicated to her art, Dora Gordine was hailed in 1938 as ‘possibly the finest woman sculptor in the world’ and she remained a major presence in European sculpture until the late 1960s. Trained in Tallinn and Paris during the 1920s Gordine achieved critical acclaim in 1926 with the bronze Head of a Chinese Philosopher exhibited at the Salon des Tuileries in Paris (now on display at Dorich House). She settled in Kingston in 1936 and remained living and working at Dorich House until her death in 1991.

Dorich House Museum, holds a major collection of Gordine’s bronzes, paintings and drawings, and a superb collection of Russian Imperial Art, gathered by her husband, the Hon. Richard Hare. The house, with its two studios, gallery and top floor apartment, were all designed by Gordine herself in 1935/6.

This event is part of a wider programme of exhibitions, talks, and events celebrating the 140-year history of Kingston School of Art. To find out more visit Archive Kingston School of Art.