Ibiza artist Helen Sadler has been a good friend of Charles Marlow Ibiza’s Tim Stacey for quite some time now. In my quest to get to know more about Ibiza’s artists and the island’s art scene, I had a chat with her about her work and where her inspiration comes from.
Originally from England’s West Country, Helen is open and friendly. She is absolutely serious about her work but down to earth and laughs often.
Helen studied art and design at college and has worked as a graphic designer, art director and photographer, as well as in advertising, film, TV and events. Before moving to Ibiza, to live here full-time, she was living in Manchester, in the north of England.
‘It rains a lot in Manchester,” Helen told me. “After living there for seven years, I loved it, but I thought, I can do this in Ibiza, so drove down here from the UK.
Like every Ibiza artist I speak to, when it comes to her work, Helen loves Ibiza for the natural light and colour. ‘There’s so much to see here¨ she said. “It’s like the seasons go from spring to summer and back to spring again with a short winter. Even when the sky is grey, it can be fascinating and dramatic.’
Did Helen know why the light and colour are so special, I wondered? ‘Maybe it’s being surrounded by the sea and there not being so many clouds. I must admit I don’t really know. I just love it. All I know is that, for me, it’s nature that inspires my work.’
Helen uses acrylics on canvas to make vibrant, colourful abstract work. Each one is, as she puts it, ‘a moment in time, captured in a colourful energy explosion, with its own individual personality and characteristics.’
Her way of working, to capture Ibiza’s natural essence, is to go out and notice what she sees. ‘I realised that when I really look deeply into things, I don’t just see just the obvious – the blue of waves, the green of a landscape – but all kinds of other colours and light within that,’ she explained. ‘It’s a creative download. I don’t think about the work too much, I just instinctively go and do it.’
Because her work is based on an intuitive response to Ibiza, every piece is completely different. Some are thickly painted with plenty of texture, others are not.
Helen buys her paints and frames from Arteria in Ibiza town but there are art shops all over Ibiza.
As Charles Marlow Ibiza is looking at ways it can support Ibiza’s artistic community, I asked Helen how she promotes her work.
‘I’ve been fortunate in having my work shown in high-profile spaces around Ibiza such as El Hotel Pacha, KM5. Me Hotel and Pikes. Last year, I did a lot of different shows around the island. Putting my art out there is great because I meet people, get feedback, and build my audience. Thankfully, we’ve also got the Internet. Creative people are not necessarily good when it comes to business and, with social media it makes it a lot easier to put the work up online, and opens us up to a vast, international audience.’
Being somewhat tech-savvy herself, Helen is also interested in the potential of Non-Fungible Token (NFT) art, which is really taking off. A piece of NFT art is a collectable digital asset tradeable in the digital world. She is also curious about the Metaverse, the concept of a collective, virtual open space in which people can replicate or enhance what they do in the real world.
‘I have some NFTs out there,’ Helen said, I’m intrigued by the Metaverse, although the best art is always going to be the original work that lives with us in our reality.
For now, Helen is open to discussing real world commissions, for bespoke custom-made artwork. From her background working on film and production sets, she has a solid grasp of where art fits in a tangible space and can create something individual that compliments a particular style and interior design. She is doing more and more of this kind of work.
Helen is enjoying the spring in Ibiza. Inevitably, even a morning walk can inspire another painting, almost like receiving a never-ending ‘yes from the universe’ in what she sees as a constant visual source of daily inspiration.
Follow Helen on Instagram @helen.sadler for her abstract work and @helensadler_79 for her illustrations.
If you’d like to talk to Helen Sadler about a commission, you can contact her via instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org