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Arts Degree Show

Twenty Twenty

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Projection piece 2

Projection piece 2

This is a double projection onto voile from my final exhibition project. Two projections from opposing sides create an overlapped image. As the viewer circles the piece their body hides one of the images, revealing the other. Lavender scent was added to this piece. Deciding on the type of imagery that was most likely to stimulate affect in the four final projections, required relatable aspects yet also a level of distortion to create a new experience for the viewer.

Development piece

Development piece

This is an experimental piece from my final project where multiple projected figures appear in one space for the viewer to navigate.

Development piece

Development piece

This is an experiment from my exhibition project where I projected a drawn figure onto the textured walls of a shipping container.

Development piece

Development piece

This is a development piece from a previous project where I experimented with projecting distorted screen print imagery onto voile.

Public participatory piece

Public participatory piece

This is a final piece from a previous project where I invited the public to contribute and interact with a clay sculpture I made. This piece's timing was crucial, requiring enough for multiple members of the public to participate in but also short enough for the clay to maintain malleability.

Helena Dagnall

I am a multi-media artist whose art practice explores the viewer’s physical and cognitive responses to representation of the human figure.

My work exemplifies a meeting of philosophical, neuroscientific and creative ideas. Researching into Affect Theory and neuroscientific studies in art has increased my fascination with how our bodies and minds react to art objects. In particular, I am drawn to the human figure which is a consistent image throughout art history. I seek to combine these two elements in my work. My art practice has incorporated a range of media and processes that experiments with portraying the human figure and methods in which the viewer may interact with it. Having developed my skills in printmaking, ceramics and drawing, I specialised this past year in creating multi-sensory environments.
As a result, I project distorted prints, drawings and photographic life-size imagery onto scented voile fabric which allows the viewer to move through and around the pieces, providing a variety of sensory information. This creates an embodied experience for the viewer that heightens their meeting with my representations of the human figure. Through this process my work aims to stimulate physiological and psychological affects specific to the image of the human figure, including personal and social memories, emotions and associations.
I plan to continue developing my skills in art processes through independent art practice and in group art projects, alongside a career in art therapy where I am able to gain an advanced knowledge of arts connection to our mind/body to use in clinical environments to the benefit of my clients.


Viewer responses to affect in the representation of the human figure in works by Lee Krasner and Bill Viola

Final year project

Affect and representation of the human figure


• I exhibited group work at our degree years ‘Container’ Exhibition, contributing to the organisation of the group as we created and installed the work.
• I exhibited at the MTC exhibition 2019.
• I exhibited at one of the Fine Art’s Welcome Matt Exhibitions, and worked as a team to organise it, discussing ideas, curating and exhibiting our individual pieces.
• I exhibited at my Art Foundation exhibition, building the exhibition space and curating and installing my piece.
• For the last year and a half, I have been working as a Learning Support Assistant at RNIB College Loughborough, which involves working with adults who have a variety of disabilities. I regularly support the students in different art activities, that range from sensory led processes to higher level product making work.
• I am a co-leader for a special needs group at Lighthouse High Wycombe, a children’s summer camp. I oversee the running of the group, allocating children to appropriate one to one support, running teaching sessions and making sure they are able to be involved with the summer camp activities. As part of this, myself and fellow co-leader organise a quiet space for the children to have breaks in if need be. An art station is included for the children to participate in and display their work.
• I ran a craft workshop at Emmanuel Church’s youth group.