“I became fascinated in incorporating portraits into my work after finding a photograph of my Great Grandfather and seeing his memorial in the tower of All Saints Church in Westbury where he was a bell ringer.” says Helen, “I realised the devastation that was caused to his young wife and baby son (my Grandfather) when he was killed and how the only record of his life was a sepia photograph, a cigarette case and a carved memorial. While working in restoration studios following my degree I noticed that it was only prominent families that were able to commission portraits and that my family, like the majority, only have photographic records of our ancestor going back, at most, a hundred years. My aim is to create a series of portraits that commemorate the everyday man to the prominent position that they inhabited in the hearts of their loved ones.”
Helen Chester will be exhibiting these portraits over the course of the four years commemorations, please check the News page for details.
More recently Helen has worked with UK charity, Waterloo Uncovered in order to produce a series of portraits of the veterans, and those still serving in the Armed Forces, involved in their archaeological work at the site of the Battle of Waterloo. Through these portraits Helen seeks to tell the individual stories, illustrate the work of the charity and incorporate imagery from the historical battle.
Please click on each image for further information about each subject & press 'show more' button to see more work.
Picture in the Wilson family's private collection.