For the second year in a row, Renée Phillips, the Director of Manhattan Arts International and the Curator of Our Bond With Nature on The Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS website exhibition asked me to be a Guest Judge and to give a special award for the artists juried into this exhibition.

I chose Helena Cooper’s abstract photography as my special award-winning artist. Helena’s colorful interpretation of nature’s beauty provides a glimpse of tones, textures, and energy that is rarely noticed by the rest of us when we are in the midst of nature. 

Her nature photography contains either an explosion of colors or a muted version of earth, water and form.  Though her artworks appear to be colorful abstracts, they produce a subtle experience of the natural world in the viewer. 

Below are her artist biography and statement, along with 5 images of her outstanding abstract photography.

Artist Biography:

Helena Cooper was born and lived in São Paulo, Brazil, until the age of 25. She grew up in a family of artists, surrounded by sculptors, painters, designers, jewelers, and photographers. Helena studied painting at the Escola Brasil Dois Pontos, the prestigious Art Institute of Brazil which has launched many of the country’s greatest contemporary artists as well as The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

As an abstract artist, Helena’s paintings and photography both reflect mysterious depths of nature. Through photography, Cooper explores the potential for water and earth to nourish, heal and restore the mind, body, and soul.

The Finger Lakes region in upstate NY provides a perfect venue for this expression; its gorges, forests, lakes, and streams are Helena’s inspiration. This is where she lives.

Artist Statement:

“I found comfort in nature during a challenging time in my life. I started to photograph at gorges, lakes, and streams near where I live in the Finger Lakes. Through the camera lens, a decomposing leaf in a small puddle of water or a beam of light refracted in a stream transforms into a whole universe of new perspectives.”  Helena’s website:

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