Helena Stockar (born 1933, died 2013) draws on her Czech roots to create oils, watercolors, drawings and ink abstractions that explore the emotional depths of both natural and man-induced storms. She draws inspiration from her own turbulent past as an emigree from the Czech republic on the wings of the soviet invasion in 1968. Helena shows a broad expressionist form depicting humanistic ideas about people struggling against nature and the evil of man. Her paintings create strong images of not only people enveloped by the atmosphere of their environments but the inner emotions of her subjects. It is these emotions that she uses as a point of departure to explore the depths of complexity and the comparison that can be derived between natural events and social injustices. On August 20, 1968 the USSR finally released the full fury of its invasion on the capital of Czechoslovakia, Prague, in response to the reforms and liberation of the country under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek. On July 16th of that year, during the time known as Prague Spring and after months of desperate struggle, a young woman and her two children finally managed to leave their homeland and follow her husband to the United States. Ivo Stockar had escaped from Czechoslovakia the previous year, but Helena and children had been detained. After months of nervous waiting, many sessions of interview an imprisonment had convinced Helena that she might never be able to join her husband. It was with muted excitement, therefore, that she observed, during Prague Spring, the reforms and gradual relaxing of regulations. Helena applied for emigration papers and was granted them for mid-summer, 1968. With the winds of impending storm of soviet reaction to Prague Spring billowing on their tails, Helena and the children made it out of the country barely a month before the borders were once again shut down by the combines forces of about 650,000 Soviet, East German, Poland, Hungarian and Bulgarian troops. Helena looks back at those events and paints with a passion rooted in traumatic times that she and her family lived through. It was a time when families were broken apart and loved ones were lost to a system that appeared to no sense or compassion. Often reason could not be found for events that were experienced. Helena came to live in a coastal community of Rhode Island where she has witnessed the same uncontrollable forces in natural events, such as hurricanes, storms and social events, the terror of September 11th, 2001 that she had survived.