Laurie: Hello and welcome to our very first blog post. Today I will be chatting with Helena Jury from Flutter and Folk and I'm very excited to have her here. I've always loved art and illustration and since the beginning of Isle of Shee it has been a dream to collaborate with some of the many wonderful artists that I've found mainly via Instagram. One that I have admired for a long time is Helena and her beautiful work. A little while back Helena created a beautiful print and iv'e often thought how much I would love to wear it (I'm sure you would too?) So, the Soil not Oil t-shirt was born and today we can find out a bit more about Helena and her lovely work.
Hello, Helena and welcome to Isle of Shee. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where your from?
Helena: Hi! I’m Helena, I’m an illustrator and print artist and I am the one women show behind Flutter + Folk.
I live in a little town on the edge of the beautiful Cumbrian countryside with my dachshund Penny.
Laurie: What got you into Lino cut?
Helena: It’s been quite the journey! After struggling to feel a connection to the digital printing process (and quite frankly wanting to throw my printer out the window one too many times!) I started researching
more hands on printing techniques. I initially started Silk screen printing my designs but after getting hooked by the lino carving process and finding it more practical for working in a small home studio space and I haven’t looked back since. Quite simply I love it!
Laurie: Where does your inspiration come from?
Helena: Nature, the environment and my garden are all places I gather inspiration on a daily basis. Whether it’s while walking in a local woodland or from pottering in my own garden. I grow a lot of plants from seed and I find it a very hopeful process. Creating my own garden space that both fulfils my need for a green
and flowery retreat while also providing a habitat for pollinators and birds is something I am passionate about. I have come to realise my wellbeing is interconnected with the plant life and wildlife
around me. It’s a relationship that fascinates me and often translates into my designs.
Another influence behind my designs is my mental health. I have suffered with life affecting anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. As anyone who has experienced either will know, at
times it can feel like you could burst with it all. So my work became an outlet through which I can process what I’m feeling and hopefully connect with other people suffering the same way. I think mental illness can be a very isolating and lonely thing to deal and I
believe the more we share our experiences the better. In my designs I will often use people’s faces, facial expressions and body language in my lino carvings to illustrate a mood and express feelings that can
be hard to put into words.
Laurie: What inspired the Soil not Oil print?
Helena: As someone who draws such strength and solace from nature, the environment and the urgency of the climate crisis are something I am very aware of. When I designed this print I was feeling very
frustrated with the limits of what I could do to help heal our planet. While I take steps to be environmentally aware, source responsibly,
recycle and garden organically, it didn’t feel like enough. Whilst the climate crisis is being discussed by politicians in our UK government, their actions are falling short. In particular the disparity between government funding allocated to fossil fuels and
to renewable energy, and the effect this could have on the hopes of a zero emissions future, were foremost on my mind.
Laurie: Where did the name Flutter + Folk come from?
Helena: I think of the ‘Flutter’ part as a representation of the naturalistic, wild elements of my designs. The leaves, flowers, moons and insects that I draw inspiration from and that are staple element of my
designs. The ‘Folk’ part represents the human, emotional and our relationships to each other as well as to our planet and environment. The “folk” elements of my designs tend to be the female form, the gesture of a hand, or the expression on a face.
Laurie: So, what’s next for Flutter +Folk?
Helena: Good question! More lino carving and printing for sure! I have so many more ideas for designs I can’t wait to put out there. I am
currently working on a shop update with a few new prints. I am also hoping to be adding Flutter + Folk ceramics to my online shop sometime soon. I recently set up my own pottery studio after taking lessons the last few years. I have already started the process
of working out how to translate my designs on to everyday pieces of pottery. As someone who is very particular about her tea drinking habits, I love the idea of one of my pieces becoming a part of
someone else’s tea ritual.
Laurie: Thank you for taking the time to chat with me Helena, it been Wonderful hearing more about you.
If you would like to purchase a Soil not Oil T-Shirt they are available now in the Isle of Shee shop or click here.