Runner Up for MPA Photographer/Artist of the Year: Helen Breznik

We are pleased to announce Helen Breznik as the runner up for the MPA Photographer/Artist of the Year. Below are statements from two jury members about Helen’s work, followed by selections from Helen’s portfolio as submitted to the MPA.

Star Rush: Helen Breznik’s work in the mobile medium presents a breadth of range as well as depth of personal investigation. Her portfolio, as submitted to the MPA and taken as a whole, reaches from representational photography to abstracted, non-representational explorations of the human form and its context. She achieves this with breath-taking ideas, technical execution, and vibrancy of aesthetic value. What is impressive within this continuum of visual representation is the consistency of her compelling vision and thematic investigations of form, light, and composition. Her portfolio presents an artist examining deeply how the conventions of photography travel across our own assumptions about human form, storytelling, notions of beauty, and even the nature of photography itself.

Her work stimulates questions about visual narrative and its boundaries, unsettling our own desires for neat or tidy resolutions. Self-portraits that disrupt expectations of genre, for example, tease viewers out of comfort zones of easy aesthetics. In this work, we are invited to accompany the artist in an intimate, probing exploration of her “self.” in context.

Her work lingers in the mind long after viewing.

Nettie Edwards: Helen’s work is extremely compelling. Here is an artist asking questions about the nature of photography, in particular self portraits, constantly experimenting and not afraid to fail. Often witty and glamorous, always beautifully crafted, nothing is ever quite as it seems in Breznik’s world: her narratives are subtly woven, leaving the viewer to further interpret and imagine. Her recent Basement series, beautifully composed, lit and coloured, is one that I find particularly evocative, enigmatic and inspiring.