Helen Sear studied Fine Art at Reading University and the Slade School, University College London. Her work came to prominence in the 1991 British Council exhibition De-Composition: Constructed Photography in Britain, which toured extensively throughout Latin America and Eastern Europe.
Her work explores the materiality of vision, often combining hand drawn or erased elements with photography to disrupt the conventional fixed-point perspective associated with the medium. She also works with moving image and mixed media installations.
Her black and white portraits Twice…Once were included in the exhibition About Face at the Hayward Gallery London in summer 2004 and La Mirada Reflexiva at the Espai D’Art Contemporani in Castellon Spain in 2005. The 90-page monograph Twice was published by Zelda Cheatle Press in 2002, and Grounded first exhibited at Zinc Gallery Stockholm, became a touring exhibition curated by Impressions Gallery, York between 2003 and 2005.
Other solo exhibitions include Inside The View, shown at Gallery Harmonia in Finland in 2006, G39 Cardiff who also published the bookwork Tale in 2009, Beyond The View, Hoopers Gallery London, and Klompching New York in 2010.
Ffotogallery Wales published her first major monograph in 2012 Inside The View. GOST published the bookwork Brisées in 2013 which accompanied the major national tour Lure in the same year.
Sear was the first woman to represent Wales with a solo exhibition at the 56th Venice Biennale 2015.
2018 Prospect refuge hazard 1 Dalby Forest, Ryedale Folk Museum, Crescent Arts 2018 Prospect refuge hazard 2 Hestercombe House Taunton 2018 Facination Martin Asbaek Gallery Copenhagen 2017 …the rest is smoke: Glyn Vivian Museum and Art Gallery Swansea 2017 New Photographs : Klompching New York 2015 …the rest is smoke: representing Wales at the 56th Venice Biennale 2014 Pastoral Monuments, Rencontres Internationales, Gaspésie, Canada 2013 Lure, Oriel Davies, Newtown, national touring exhibition 2012 Sightlines, Klompching Gallery New York USA 2011 Pond, Crescent Arts Scarborough 2010 Beyond The View, Klompching New York 2009 Beyond The View, Hoopers Gallery London 2009 Inside The View, Klompching Gallery New York USA 2005 Grounded, Leeds Metropolitan Gallery 2003 Hide, Ffotogallery Cardiff 2000 Unsettlement, Zinc gallery, Stockholm 1999 Twice…Once, Angel Row Nottingham 1998 Twice… Once, Anderson O’Day, London 1994 Gone to Earth, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, Portfolio Gallery Edinburgh 1992 Threshold, Gray Gallery, North Carolina, USA
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