Sear is one of photography's foremost innovators. For her the medium is one of magic as much as realism. It is never pure, fixed or entirely knowable. Each new series presents a new set of challenges that offer up her fascination with craft and our habits of looking." David Campany
Helen Sear studied Fine Art at Reading University and the Slade School, University College London. Her work came to prominence in the 1991 British Council exhibition De-Composition: Constructed Photography in Britain, which toured extensively throughout Latin America and Eastern Europe.
Her work explores the materiality of vision, often combining hand drawn or erased elements with photography to disrupt the conventional fixed-point perspective associated with the medium. She also works with moving image and mixed media installations.
Her black and white portraits TwiceOnce were included in the exhibition About Face at the Hayward Gallery London in summer 2004 and photographs from the series Spot in the exhibition La Mirada Reflexiva at the Espai D'Art Contemporani in Castellon Spain in 2005. The 90-page monograph Twice was published by Zelda Cheatle Press in 2002, and Grounded first exhibited at Zinc Gallery Stockholm, became a touring exhibition curated by Impressions Gallery, York between 2003 and 2005.
Other solo exhibitions include Inside The View, shown at Gallery Harmonia in Finland in 2006, G39 Cardiff who also published the bookwork Tale in 2009, Beyond The View, Hoopers Gallery London, and Klompching New York in 2010.
Ffotogallery Wales published her first major monograph in 2012 Inside The View. GOST published the bookwork Brisées in 2013 which accompanied the major national tour Lure in the same year.
Sear was the first woman to represent Wales with a solo exhibition at the 56th Venice Biennale 2015.
Helen Sear is represented by Klompching in New York and Martin Asbaek Gallery in Copenhagen.