My work brings attention to the ordinary wonders in our immediate surroundings. It captures the sense of awe and contentment experienced when we take the time to observe minute elements in our path, be it an unfurling fern frond, a broken butterfly wing, or a translucent seedpod. By discovering the beauty around us we will find it easier to appreciate—and want to protect—the environment as a whole.
I use motives and images directly derived from nature, either from botanical contact prints, relief processes, or in the use of natural dyes and pigments. In my compositions, repetitions echo patterns found in the natural world. I capture these variations with prints that are ghosts of the original, differing from one another depending on water temperature, pressure, and curing period. These impressions are combined with additional markings, colors, and lines, making each piece a documentation of a specific plant at a moment in time. Stitching often appears throughout, adding texture and unifying passages—creating a sense of care and patience that asks one to slow down and take notice.
Recent work focuses on invasive species and noxious weeds—most of which were once eagerly introduced to bring beauty and utility to gardens and fields. Many of these plants now engulf our landscape, suppressing and entangling native plants and the wildlife who live within. I portray these specimens by using their shapes, silhouettes, and pigmentation to create everlasting reminders about natures fragility as well as resilience.
My art embraces natural materials and a commitment to leaving behind minimal waste and toxicity, paying homage to the natural world in both form and content. Most of all, I want to instill an appreciation of the environment we have near. My pieces cherish all that is right here, where I live, work, and love. By extension, I hope they will remind the viewer to look to their own surroundings for similar discoveries.
Lotta Helleberg is a Swedish-born artist based in Charlottesville, Virginia. For more than a decade, Helleberg has experimented with textile printmaking, and most recently focused on eco-printing, relief processes, and local plant-based dyes to render works that both document and celebrate her immediate surroundings. Her unconventional wall and book works have been featured in dozens of solo and group exhibitions across the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as in Oregon, New York, and Canada.