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Assault victim rebuilding life in North Wales creates art to raise awareness

Published date: 16 July 2017 |
Published by: Steve Craddock 
Read more articles by Steve Craddock  Email reporter


An assault victim rebuilding her life in North Wales as an artist is creating a series of works to raise awareness of social issues including domestic violence and child exploitation.

Among the portfolio of designs which Helen Robinson is producing at Wrexham Glyndwr University is a piece created in response to the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017, featuring a series of fists to illustrate how violence and control can be passed from generation to generation.

Her other art includes a piece of work representing onlookers turning their back on a vulnerable child and one which explores the issue of control and abuse.

Helen, a 51-year-old former hairdresser and holistic therapist, moved to North Wales in 2005, three years after becoming the victim of a section 18 assault (grevious bodily harm).

Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, she quickly found therapy through art, completing a part-time art class in Denbigh before gaining a first class degree in design: illustration for children’s publishing at Wrexham Glyndwr University.

She continued at the institution with an MA design practice but had to postpone her studies for three years after the triple blow of cancer scares, two operations and the death of her father.

Now back on track and set to complete her studies, her work will feature in an exhibition at the university this summer.

Ms Robinson, originally from Guiseley near Leeds and now living in Old Colwyn, said: “There is a real cathartic effect for me in creating something in 3D form.

“Not everyone wants to verbalise what they’ve gone through and this is the power of therapy through art.

“As I embarked on the project to create the work, I’ve started to reflect on and process things that have happened in my life, it’s given me a greater awareness of other people.

“The Manchester bombing reignited some past feelings and made me consider the possibility of a link between violence being passed down through generations.

“Recent domestic violence storyline in Emmerdale provided the spark for creating the piece about how people become locked into violent situations.

“The work about child abuse and control is, I think, perhaps the most powerful of all.

“The characters standing around the child are genderless, ageless but it represents the attitude of it’s not my business it’s someone else’s or I will just pray about it and hope the problem goes away.”

Her work – which trades under the Jaminosh Designs brand - is now stocked in seven independent galleries or retailers in North Wales, from Llangollen to Anglesey, and at a gift shop in Nantwich, Cheshire.

Helen is also using her holistic and personal development background to facilitate research workshops.

These enable people to process repressed emotions non verbally through the use of clay and colour.

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