In January 2022, Helena became the inaugural Art Curator at the University of York, where she oversees a collection of a wide range of works, including those by acknowledged masters, such as Barbara Hepworth, Aubrey Williams, Sydney Nolan, Paul Nash, Joan Eardley, Keith Vaughan, Jacob Epstein, Mary Fedden, and Elizabeth Blackadder. The breadth of the collection encompasses ancient and modern ceramics, textile-art, sculpture, painting, printmaking, book-art and photography. Her mission is to make the Art Collection central to the University, as it was intended to be when the Art Collection was first established in the early 1960s. Helena has big plans for the Art Collection to play a pivotal role in the new strategy 'University for the Public Good'.
Helena runs the official social media accounts of the UoY Art Collection on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. She is a passionate communicator about art and often appears in the media promoting the art collection's projects, such as her regular spot on BBC Radio York.
Helena has been involved with exhibitions both as an exhibiting artist and a curator since her art and design studies in the late 1990s. Being an artist as well as a curator gave her a deeper insight into curating, and a profound understanding of the various needs of all the parties involved in creating impactful exhibitions. She has a passion for making art accessible to the widest audiences and has been actively promoting art and culture in a variety of media including BBC Look North, BBC Radio Humberside, That's TV, The Yorkshire Post, The York Press, as well as running professional social media accounts.
In 2011, Helena joined the National Museum in Prague (CZ) as the Curator of the Japanese and Korean Collection at the Naprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures. She had worked there for over three years, successfully securing funding each year for a six-weeks research trip to Japan. Helena devoted herself to intense research and cooperation with several Japanese universities in Tokyo, Kyoto and Hirosaki. Her collaboration with Japanese museums and galleries resulted in creating several successful exhibitions, which have since been touring the country. Helena co-authored three monographs on Japanese Buddhist art, and traditional Japanese toys. She published an array of articles focusing mainly on Japanese woodblock prints.
In 2014, Helena moved to the UK, setting up her studio in Greater Manchester and later in North Wales. As a free-lance curator, Helena worked with local artists as well as international artists, such as the ‘Invisibility’ project curated for the multimedia artist Kamila Ženatá.
In 2016, Helena received a departmental scholarship and began her PhD studies in Art History at the University of York, an institution with international reputation for research of Victorian art and culture. In 2017, Helena took up the position of a Curator at Beverley Art Gallery (East Riding Museums), a gallery with a collection of Victorian and Edwardian painting. Helena delivered a balanced program of exhibitions, reaching from contemporary multimedia art to traditional historic art. Helena focused on with contemporary local, national and international artists, as well as exploring the museum’s varied collection and researching its Edwardian treasures.
Explore selected exhibitions in the scroll-down menu above!
@HelenaCurator @ArtAtYork #UoYArt @HelenaCoxCurator