Photo by Janette Danel Helleu
Malta News

Janette Danel Helleu currently exhibiting in Mdina

About the artist — Janette Danel Helleu

Born in Amsterdam, a passionate globetrotter at heart, she graduated in art history in Leiden, Netherlands and is now an expert in contemporary photography. After Sotheby’s, she established her gallery ‘Chinese Eyes’ in Hong Kong and Paris for 6 years. She then worked at Phillips de Pury in New York and London. At the same time she became an independent curator for photographers such as Marc Riboud, Harry Gruyaert, Gao Brothers, David Goldblatt, Shai Kremer … exhibiting them in New York, LA, Hong Kong, Singapore, Arles, Moscow and Paris.

In 2010, she launched and directed the artistic programming of ‘Photo Off’ in Paris; opened her new gallery ‘KijK’ in Paris and specialized in contemporary South African photography.

Mid 2013, when both children went off to university, she decided to sell her gallery to be able to devote herself to new and interesting projects such as to sailing the globe.

After having lived and sailed around the world throughout her life, she decided to move to Malta in 2016. Now living in the 3 Cities, she wants to spend more time on her own photography projects and is looking into organizing photo workshops.

Recently she was invited to curate and organise ‘SEA SHE SEES” at the Maritime Museum, Birgu, where 15 ladies from 8 nationalities, but all living on the island, showed their unique view on their encounter with the sea.  Janette, for the first time also took part in that show. Having worked so many years amongst great photographers it was difficult and scary to project her own work even though they encouraged her to do. Since the age of 7, when she discovered her fathers kodak camera, she has never stopped using one. After her success at the museum, she has now been invited to do a first solo show here at the Palazzo de Piro, Mdina, with her series called ‘Through the eyes of Dolly …’.

About the solo show — Through the eyes of Dolly

“The title of this series came up when I was driving my old 2CV car, from the South of France, coming down the side roads, to finally end up on the boat straight into Valletta, 12 days later. Taking photos along the trip through the mirror reflects what I actually saw looking out off the window and what I didn’t see in the first place in my rear mirror.

Once in Malta, I thought I would capture the island in the same way. It’s like reflecting life. What had I seen, and what I had missed, but thought I had seen. The past, which lay behind me in the mirror, and the present, which I could see through the window in front of me. Consequently, the past and present intermingle with one another and it seems that there are always two stories to a situation as to a moment.”

(via Palazzo de Piro)