Helen Johannessen plays with subtle texture and illusionary effects, experimenting with surfaces, how they shift with light, movement, tones, scale and detail. She received The HRH Presidential Medal Award 2020 for her dedication and contribution to the skills currently listed on the Endangered Red List.
Straight after graduating from university, she started working in a ceramic model and mould making studio in an old schoolhouse studio just off Brick Lane, London. Also Johannessen has a unique background in the film industry, where she witnessed a significant amount of material waste from large-scale projects. This experience deeply affected her and she realized how disposable our society has become. To express her concerns, she decided to utilize ceramics, a natural and long-lasting material, to create her first collection called “Is that Plastic?” in 2000. From there, she founded Yoyo Ceramics, a brand that creates colourful homeware.
Starting in 2015, Johannessen shifted her focus to porcelain, creating sculptural forms and wall art that emphasize light, tone, and balance. Her ceramic artworks capture beautiful qualities and visual movement in cast porcelain. Within them she aims to silence our overstimulated, digital world; connect and nurture our imaginations and engage with personal, sensory landscapes. For Johannessen to work with porcelain is about making it feel as light as a feather. Porcelain can be thin, yet strong and voluminous without using very much material at all.