Concrete Feathers and Porcelain Tacks is a new film and installation project from artist, Helen Cammock.
Fri 15 Oct 2021 – Sun 13 Feb 2022
The Photographers’ Gallery
6-18 Ramillies St, London W1F 7LW
Helen Cammock was born in 1970 in Staffordshire. She lives and works in Brighton and London. Cammock explores social histories through film, photography, print, text, song and performance. She is motivated by her commitment to questioning mainstream historical narratives around blackness, womanhood, wealth, power, poverty and vulnerability. Mining her own biography in addition to the histories of oppression and resistance, multiple and layered narratives, reveals the cyclical nature of histories.
“The spaces we inhabit are different shapes to everyone. The comfort we enjoy is not the same from one community to the next – from one home to the next. But some strive more for a sense of collective parity. The Rochdale Principles embody this notion of a shared role, responsibility, and stake in what little or great opportunity and subsistence a community generates.”
In an echo of the equitable, collective ethos of the Cooperative Movement (founded in Rochdale in 1844), Helen Cammock brings together members of Rochdale’s present-day community to relay their individual experiences and their different perspectives on what it is to be a stakeholder in an enterprise or entity that is larger than yourself. This dialogue is sparked by the artist’s and the participants’ encounters with objects from the public collection at Touchstones, Rochdale’s gallery and museum. Established in the name of the people, and for the benefit of the people, the collection makes good on its original promise of being an open, shared resource by providing access for Cammock’s protagonists to its hundred-year stockpile of eclectic artefacts, and subsequently siting selected items in novel and beguiling places in the locality. The objects chosen are disparate and intriguing, and range from a bust of the singer Paul Robeson, to a vintage sewing machine, to a coffee mug from the miners’ strike, to a painting of draughts players in a civic square – emblems of a universal human need for togetherness, belonging and solidarity.
‘Helen Cammock’s latest show is a love letter to cooperation… a deeply political and engagingly conceptual exhibition.’
Eddy Frankel – Time Out