Helen Farmer

Happy Fluffy Kitty Bunny
In Residence: September 11 – October 20, 2006
Opening Reception: October 19, 5:30 – 8:30pm
Exhibition: continues through November 10, 2006

Helen Farmer, printmaker, culminated her six-week residency at PlatteForum with an a unique installation that is sugary sweet and satisfying to the touch, filled with innocent fluffy rabbits, kittens, and bears that are just as creepy as they are charming. Ms. Farmer uses humor to explore the duality of the sweet saccharine and the surrealistic whimsical eeriness that is expressed through the oodles of the super cute. “Play is a construction of reality which takes the inner world of fantasy and transforms it into reality,” W.D.Winnicott. Ms. Farmer uses fabric and printmaking techniques to form her eccentric animals. Each animal is obsessively hand carved and then printed on various types of fabric. The use of faux fur accentuates the peculiar unreal qualities of the work.

During her residency Ms. Farmer worked with youth at the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver, William E. Cope and Owen Branches where Cultural Arts Directors Adrianna Santiago and George Patterson helped oversee and guide the students as they worked with Ms. Farmer. After researching animals in art history and ephemera, students drew imaginary animals and experimented with printing on paper and fabric. These were transformed into three-dimensional soft sculptures that are integrated in the installation.

Ms. Farmer has shown her work in museums and galleries in Tennessee, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Wisconsin. In 2005 she participated in the Student Artist in Residency Program at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland, and lives in Knoxville Tennessee.

A special thanks to: Open Press, Denver and Red Delicious Press, Aurora for letting Ms. Farmer use their presses; Jennifer Jorgensen who hosted the artist during her residency; Rich Salturelli and David Minty at CityGrille for catering the reception; and Karen Saenz at Little Raven Vineyards for creating the wine event for the evening; and volunteers Emily Potts, Mindy Bray, Tonia Bonnell, Sahra Hall, Mark Kling, Carolyn Stein, Connie Robertson and Dana Miller.