Like a hand-carved mask or ornament, the buffalo head at first represented death, but its meaning has evolved as the dialogue in her work has unfolded and become more complex over time. The character of Tchigangi is layered, as are the traits of the 32 Battalion. The figure is a kind of spiritual presence, a monster, a ghost.
Helena specifically explores the archive of images given to her by Commander Nel, grappling with the content and, through the lithographic print process, disrupting both his images and his perspectives. Similarly, the text elements found in the works have evolved from Helena’s notebooks, notes taken from research, interviews and thoughts.