Helen Maurer Light Landing photo: Thierry Bal
Maurice Egerton’s life spanned both World Wars and the Tatton estate was, like many others in Britain, used as a training ground for parachutists in the early 1940s. Planes coming from Manchester Ringway dropped novices throughout the landscape, while covert operations utilised Tatton in midnight flights taxiing would-be spys from Britain to occupied France. Helen Maurer’s Light Landing was a double-homage, acknowledging both the grandeur of Manchester Airport’s original Modernist architectural tendencies and the legacy of fliers at Tatton Park. Sited in the Mansion’s Cupola Hall, the work suggested both the Minimalist leanings of art production in the 1970s and the opulence of the Mansion itself. Taken out of their original context as a massive chandelier, selected pieces of Venini glass drops hung from the Cupola opening into the space of the Hall below. At odds with the gilt furniture and frames they loomed over, the drops were lit by a single light source, slowly moving through the space. The overall effect – one of dripping and sliding shadows, suggested the slow but potentially lethal movement of trainees as they took their first descent.
Having completed a first degree in Fine Art and Theatre at Brighton University, Helen Maurer went on to study Glass at The Royal College of Art. Her work combines her fascination with glass and light, and she experiments with these to create installations for exhibition and site-specific projects. If creating work for a particular place, the history and the architecture inform the idea. She was awarded the Jerwood prize for glass in 2003.
She has exhibited in the UK and abroad, with recent shows including: 'Fragil' at
Museo de Arte contemporanoe Esteban Vincente, Spain; The Institute of
Contemporary Art in Singapore; ‘The Big Chill’, Eastnor Castle, Wales; and solo
shows at Pump House Gallery, London; Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham and
Danielle Arnaud contemporary art, London. She has also completed a number of
commissions including an installation for Arts Council England, London and an
off-site project for the Towner Art Gallery at the Winter Gardens, Eastbourne.
She has collaborated on a number of joint projects with artists, choreographers and musicians, and run workshops at Laban School of Contemporary Dance, The National Glass Centre and various schools and galleries, devising projects based on her practice. Maurer is currently an Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, and lives and works in London. She is represented by Danielle Arnaud contemporary art.