Helen Cammock explores history and storytelling through layered, fragmented narratives. Using video, photography, installation, print and performance, she interrogates the ways in which stories are told, and acknowledges those who are rendered invisible by the hierarchy of histories.
The artist’s own story also impacts her work. Having worked as a social worker before becoming an artist, she remains attentive to the structural oppression and inequality across communities she saw during this time.
Cammock's Arts Council Collection work There’s a Hole in the Sky Part I (2016), which is currently on show as part of Super Black at Firstsite, Colchester, was captured in Barbados and asks questions about human worth and cultural value. In the work, Cammock interacts with workers from two sites: one of the last sugar factories in Barbados and a tourist sugar grind and rum plantation. Through prose and song, the dialogue between the artist and workers develops a disconnect between what is seen and what is heard.
Helen Cammock is one of four Arts Council Collection artists shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2019, alongside Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Tai Shani and Oscar Murillo. For the first time ever, this year's award has been given to a collective bringing together the four nominated artists: Abu Hamdan/Cammock/Murillo/Shani.
Cammock was nominated for her solo exhibition, The Long Note at Void Gallery, Derry (2018), which was subsequently exhibited at Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2019). Commissioned by Void, The Long Note is a film which explores the history and role of women in the civil rights movement in Derry Londonderry in 1968, a period generally acknowledged to be the starting point of the Troubles - the Northern Ireland conflict that spanned the 1960s through to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.
The Turner Prize 2019 is on show at Turner Contemporary in Margate until 12 January 2020.
Super Black, an Arts Council Collection National Partner Exhibition is at Firstsite Colchester until 12 January 2020.