A self-taught independent multimedia artist, Ian Helliwell works in music, film, animation, analogue electronics, instrument building, collage, installations, live performance, light show projection, graphic design, writing and film programming. He has made over 140 experimental films – one of the largest bodies of shorts in the world to feature electronic music soundtracks by one artist.
With his ‘creative soldering’ approach, he has designed and built a unique range of electronic tone generating machines – Hellitrons and Hellisizers – which he uses to compose and record his music. He has a particular interest in abstract animation, world’s fairs and electronic music.
In 2011 he completed his first feature-length documentary film Practical Electronica, looking at tape pioneer FC Judd. Expanding on his research for Tape Leaders, he released Project Symbiosis, in 2020, a compilation CD based on an archive electronic music graphic score.