Helen's work was selected for New Contemporaries in 1998 and since then she has been exhibiting internationally (inc. Yvon Lambert, Paris, Kari Kenetti, Helsinki and the Centre for Photographie in Geneva). Her films and video works have also been shown at international festivals and screening events including the Commonwealth Film Festival, the Lux and the international Film Festival 700IS, Iceland, in which her film The Pack was shortlisted for the 'Alcoa' prize.
In 2001 she won the coveted Fondation CCF pour la Photographie prize and her work is held in collections including the National Gallery of Australia, the Arts Council of England and the Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, France. In 2005 Helen was awarded The Conversation Gap Award commissioned by Career Innovation (Ci), working on narrative-based projects with some of the world's leading businesses.
Working predominantly in video and photography, her practice is anchored around intimate narratives : often understated or tacitly conveyed, and the visual exploration of the relationship between physical and psychological space.Since 2007, Helen has been collaborating with fellow researchers at the Lansdown Centre on a project relating to storytelling and location-sensitive technologies. The team have been working closely with the BBC Radio Drama department on this project and have trialled a pilot version of a Locative Radio Drama. The project is still in development and Helen is currently investigating the linguistic concerns of writing for a locative user experience.
Learning & Teaching Interests
In her teaching on the MA and BA(Hons) film programmes Helen works with:
Bendon, Helen (2008) Skirting around the edges: a creative practice-led research project into notions of resistance and continuity of life experience in the city fringes (case study area: Clerkenwell, London, UK). Interdisciplinary design and research e-Journal, Volume . pp. 1-19. ISSN 1939-4659
Bendon, Helen (2009) The role of art practice within VivaCity2020. In: Designing sustainable cities. Cooper, Rachel and Evans, Graeme and Boyko, Christopher , eds. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, pp. 263-278. ISBN 9781405179157
Parry, Nye and Bendon, Helen and Boyd Davis, Stephen and Moar, Magnus (2009) Moving tales, exploring narrative strategies for scalable locative audio drama. In: ISEA09 International Symposium on Electronic Art, 23 Aug - 01 Sep 2009, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Helen's role as Research Artist with Vivacity2020, and AUNT-SUE was to work alongside architecture/urban design researchers at University College London, London Metropolitan University, Salford University and Sheffield University, looking creatively at issues such as housing, security, people's perceptions of safety, and street design etc.
This project was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and was exhibited as part of London Architecture Biennale, 2006 and Urbis, Manchester , 2007. The work was subsequently shown at Cube, Manchester, 2007; Babylon Gallery, Ely, 2008 and Reykjavik Art Museum, 2009.
The Raising of the Dornier Do17
Bendon has been working with Andy Bardill, Kate Herd and Bob Fields (from Middlesex University's design and innovation centre redLoop) on a partnership project with the RAF Museum, Hendon on raising the Dornier Do 17, the last known surviving light bomber of its kind from WWII.
The plane was raised from the Goodwin Sands in the summer of 2013 and is being stabilised at present. The team has devised a media and exhibition strategy to engage the public through the stages of the process from the lifting of the plane from the seabed to its final resting place in the museum. Bendon is currently writing a bid to further this project, looking at the role creative enquiry can play in engaging museum visitors with complex, competing and contradictory narratives around artifacts.
Helen is currently working with Middlesex colleagues Dr Maggie Butt and Dr Magnus Moar on Ally Pally Prison Camp, a locative audio experience for Alexandra Palace to explore the narratives around the Palace's use as a prison camp in the First World War. The locative experience will be available via an app for members of the public to hear the letters, memoirs and dramatisations of actual accounts of prisoners and soldiers based at the camp, alongside poems by Maggie Butt which evoke some of the complexities of internment.
Bendon has previously worked as a Research Artist with Vivacity2020, and AUNT-SUE, two large EPSRC-funded research projects to explore and interrogate the project research strands from a creative perspective, and interested in working in this 'provocateur' role in other projects to push the boundaries and also the dissemination of academic research.