Pronouns: She/Her


Helena Westra is an emerging artist based in San Diego, California. She is currently focused on developing her ceramic body of work. This current work centers around the natural world, specifically the American Desert Southwest, including Southern California, where she has grown to call her home. The work she creates is her way of building self-trust. Growing up as an ethnically mixed military brat and moving around every couple of years, the concept of home and identity did not easily find its roots in a specific place or community. In her teenage years, she struggled with depersonalization and derealization. Artistic expression has become a direct response and remedy to this unease.  Consistently creating 3D work is a reminder that something tangible exists within herself. She is drawn to clay for its elemental, grounding properties and the requirement of giving up a certain degree of control when using the medium. This act of releasing control allows her to trust her hands, her techniques, her kiln, the clay itself, and her audience. Through creative expression, Westra explores her current ties to place and what identity has come to mean to her. Through this embrace of subject matter, she finds connection and grounding and takes comfort in calling Southern California home.