Informed by a research-driven approach to making art, Helen Cammock’s work reflects her English/Jamaican background and her experience of inequality and under-representation among the people she met as a social worker before becoming an artist. She collages material from found sources into beautiful works, which gently question the hierarchical nature of the histories that we are told and champion histories that usually remain untold.
Shouting in Whispers is a group of five large screenprints. Intense colours, hand-mixed by the artist, create rich surfaces that are broken by the interjection of simple texts – questions
and statements quoted from philosophers and activists, historic and contemporary, as well as friends of the artist.
Slide Re-enactment is a set of three pale screen prints that quietly deliver a punch. Each print is a collage of found images. One of Barack Obama sits beside another of Theresa May. The third is of Shirley Chisholm, the extraordinary activist who was both the first Black American and the first woman to run for a major party presidential nomination in
the US in 1972. The addition of enigmatic dictionary definitions turns these apparently
political posters into poetry.
Reading Museum has re-joined the Contemporary Art Society with the support
of Reading Foundation for Art. This is at a time when the town is changing rapidly and the museum is actively collecting art that reflects the concerns and interests of its increasingly diverse population.
Helen Cammock (b. 1970, Cannock, UK) gained her MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art in 2011. Her first solo show took place at Cubitt Gallery, London
in 2017. She was commissioned as part of Hull City of Culture (2017) and has been included in the Serpentine Cinema series, Tate Artist Moving Image Series and Open Source (all
2016). She is the winner of the 2017–19 Max Mara Art Prize for Women.
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2017/18