Hélène DeSerres Preserving Wildlife and Bringing Environmental Awareness with Art
“A seed grows with no sound, for creation is always quiet.”
Perhaps no modern creator exemplifies this idea more than acclaimed Québécois artist Hélène DeSerres, who leaves discussions of her methods and her works firmly unvoiced. She prefers instead to let her creations speak for themselves, whether photographs, watercolors, mixed media paintings, sculptures, or jewelry.
Photography was her childhood passion, twinned as it often is with a lust for travel and adventure. Hélène’s journey to turning these avocations into a vocation took her first to Loyola University, where she earned a B.S. in Political Science, and then to the Fine Arts program at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) in Montreal. During a subsequent two-year stay in Quebec City, she attended creative workshops at the Moulin des Arts with Albert Rousseau and discovered sculpture and copper enamel. When her children left the farm on which they had been raised, Hélène dedicated herself full-time to art. She studied with clay sculptor Andre Turpin, as well as with Chinese watercolorist Ming Ma. Later, at the Allende Institute in Mexico, she discovered a lost-wax technique and created her first bronze sculptures. In Montreal, she would later apply this technique to create stunning, first-of-its-kind jewelry.
Along the way, Hélène’s work has garnered global acclaim. Her work has been featured in numerous galleries and exhibitions in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Spain, France, Portugal, the Czech Republic, and Tunisia. Moreover, her work has won awards across borders and mediums. She has been awarded the Médaille d’Argent for not only sculpture at the Grand Annual Competition of the Circle of Artists, Painters, and Sculptors of Quebec in 2000, but also for photography at the International Exposition in Constanza, Romania in 2012. Hélène has also been honored as ARTYA artist of the year award in both 2018 and 2020. In addition, Art Tour International Magazine has named her a Top 60 Artist in 2014, as well as a Top 60 Master of Contemporary Art in both 2015 and 2018.
Given Hélène’s pluridisciplinary mastery, the question naturally arises: What unites her art across its disparate forms and mediums? Confronted with the vast spectrum of her creations and her wise silence on artistic processes and works, it is perhaps best to focus on an exemplar such as “2 Zèbres a lunettes” (“Two Zebras with Glasses”), part of the series “Métamorphoses.” A reimagining of an original photograph in acrylic, it vividly depicts one zebra in the background bowed down and drinking from a watering hole, while the other stands prominently in the foreground and stares intently outward. There is no doubt that the work’s lines and colors dazzle as they manifest the secrets of nature in unexpected ways. However, it is in the space between the emphatic blue that rims the zebra’s eyes and the viewer’s gaze that lies the unity that binds all of Hélène’s masterworks — pure and silent joy.