Helen Angell-Preece , MFA Art and Humanities with Distinction

Job Title:

PhD Research Student


School of Fine Art



There’s Nobody Home Right Now – Please Leave a Message with a Passing Stranger

There’s Nobody Home Right Now – Please Leave a Message with a Passing Stranger


Helen Angell-Preece

Occupying the Space of the Stranger:
Disrupting Spatial Experience and Enhancing Materiality to Embrace the Other within Contemporary Sculptural Installation

Primary Supervisor: Susan Brind
Co-Supervisor: Dr Benjamin Greenman

There is a reluctance to take seriously artwork where ‘there is no image, no metaphor’ (Higgins: 2011). This reveals the hegemony of the visual and the prevalence of Cartesian philosophy in contemporary British culture, still based upon ‘the separation of the seer from the seen’ (Ashcroft 134).

Contemporary Sculptural Installation pioneers Phyllida Barlow, Rose Frain, Claire Barclay, and Karla Black have gained significant British Art Establishment recognition within the last 10 years. Despite these high-profile practitioners investigating unfinished aesthetics and bodily engagement, a parallel critical, ethical examination of everyday materiality has failed to emerge.

Rooted, instead, within Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenological philosophy of consciousness, alongside New Materialist understanding of existence as a fluid intra-action of body-space-material-Other, my research will challenge this Cartesian legacy and ask why the European aesthetic experience continues to privilege the sense of sight?

Spatial research will begin from a Post-colonial standpoint, with particular reference to Homi Bhabha’s concept of the Third Space, a (Post-colonial) mediation dissolving dichotomies of opposition, dismantling established ‘European’ hierarchies.

How can we enter into this in-between Third Space?

Methodologies of construction and deconstruction within Sculptural Installation practice will create a Threshold experience for the audience, to explore how spatial displacement can affect how we relate to the Stranger within and without.

I will use methods of both building and textile construction - alongside traditional Victorian upholstery techniques, using partially upholstered / un-upholstered wooden stud framing, warp and weft webbing, coconut coir, jute, cotton and linen – to create immersive architectural installations.

Traditional European spatial experience and single-point-perspective become displaced. Finding ourselves at the Threshold, (or Third Space?) between inside and outside, domestic and public, body and architecture – the materials reveal shared trade and colonial histories and question the notion of a fixed British identity, asking who is the Stranger?

Selected Exhibitions

2019 There’s Nobody Home Right Now (Solo) 201 Telephone Box Gallery, Strathkinness,Fife.
2019 RESOLUTE Tatha Gallery, Newport, Fife.
2019 Hybrid Contemporary Art Fair Petit Palace, Madrid.
2018 Ways We Work West Ward Works, Dundee
2018 SSA & VAS Members Exhibition The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
2017 Things Fall, Fall Apart Duncan of Jordanstone Colllege of Art & Design
2016 Being in Place: The Highs and Lows of Sited Practices Meadowmill Gallery, Dundee
2016 Oscillations – Part 2 Aegina Island, Greece
2016 Oscillations – Part 1 Duncan of Jordanstone Colllege of Art & Design
2016 Rebirth Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee
2015 Winter Tales Bradshaw Art Space, University of Dundee
2014 Location RED (Solo) Meadowmill, Dundee
2014 Let Yourself Fall (Between the Solid & the Void) (Solo) Meffan Gallery, Forfar
Selected Critical Writing and Curating
2019 Essay: This Time in History, What Escapes / Afghanistan in: Rose Frain – Survey (2019). Ed. Warrilow, J. UK: Sissi Graffiti. PP109-111
2018 Exhibition / Event Curation The Third Space: Hiwar Project Space 1, Meadowmill, Dundee
2017 Review: This Time in History, What Escapes / Afghanistan - Rose Frain at Summerhall, Edinburgh
2017 Review: Nazhad and the Bell – Hiwa K at Hospitalfield
2017 Event Curation: There’s no place like ‘Home’? Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee. |

Helen Angell-Preece Personal Website