“Her aesthetic sensibility is acute and she is a truly gifted artist. But the greatest gift she brings to these paintings is humanity…”
Fergal Keane – From “Making sense a Rwandan story” catalogue
Helen Wilson-Roe is a black professional artist from Bristol, England. Her principal medium is figurative painting (in oils). Helen’s work addresses social and cultural issues, such as the Bristol Slave Trade, the 1994 Rwandan genocide and Henrietta Lacks. Her work encourages us to recognise the marginalised and voiceless in society. She is a passionate believer in social inclusion.
In 2002 with very little funding, Helen travelled alone to Rwanda. She met survivors and visited massacre sites. The people she met and the sights she saw were the inspiration behind thirteen large scale oil paintings that she painted on her return. They tell a powerful story of personal dignity, courage and survival. The exhibition is called “Making Sense a Rwandan Story”.
Helen’s aim in the exhibition was to explore reconciliation and education in areas of conflict and division. Using the experience of the Rwandan nation seeking to heal itself and reconcile internal divisions after genocide. Making Sense a Rwandan story is a stimulus for debate and learning, enabling exhibition visitors both young and old to expose various perspectives on conflict resolution and peace building.
The Making Sense exhibition was Helen’s first solo exhibition and also the first exhibition of oil paintings based on the Rwandan genocide in the U.K.
Helen gifted the Making Sense paintings to the Embassy of Rwanda / London 2006. The Embassy have arranged for the paintings to be taken to Rwanda to stay permanently.