Excellent news. An overview of my recent ceramic work has been included in the Art Reveal Magazine No 33 published in Finland.
The OUTBREAK Games is a collection of 12 ceramic sculptures inspired by the strange beauty of microscopic viruses, but interpreted as a series of games. The brightly coloured Pop Art pieces look as delicate as coral, but at the same time as dangerous as sea mines playing with our conflicting responses simultaneously delighting in their prickly beauty whilst fearing the threat they represent.
Whilst these sculptures were created in response to recent pandemics such as Ebola & Avian Flu, the subject is approached playfully with some of the works being based on Noughts & Crosses, Bar Billiards, Jacks and Chess. We are asked to consider whether these are merely games of chance or might we be gambling our lives away? This artwork has been exhibited at the Bath Fringe Arts Festival 2016, Warrington Arts Festival 2016 and at the STEAM gallery, Wigan in 2017.
The series contains framed pictures of viruses, some imagined, others real.
A group of actual, and imagined ceramic viral sculpture
Sculpture straight from the laboratory using glass jars and sculpted ceramic viruses.
The chilly blue feet belie the affection with which they were made. One foot holds firmly onto the surface and the other moves up in anticipation of what is ahead. In the version shown below the anticipatory feet have the advantage of being plugged in to a source of power.
This is one of my own feet glazed in cheerful yellow to suggest a sunny outlook, with a contrasting blue thought bubble (this is meant to suggest bubbling ideas, but sometimes blue?)
Black and white baubles sit on the ripped game board surrounded by small red humanoid figures. These bright, red blood cells soldier across the board together in a pack looking out for any viruses that may come their way. Look out, they’re watching you. Pop Art shapes and colours provide a deceptively cheerful vision of Bio warfare.
The artist, Helen Birnbaum, present a startling vision of our modern battle with viruses that may be organic or computer generated. Each cartoon-like piece represents a different virus. The pieces can be as delicate as coral or as startling as sea mines. As an Outbreak player you can control this world – but maybe not?
Outbreak Chess at its cartoonish best
- Solo exhibition OUTBREAK at STEAM, Wigan
- Gender fluidity at FaB Bath Arts Festival of emerging makers
- Northern Potters’ Exhibition, University of Central Lancashire, Preston
- Royal Cambrian Open Art competition, Conwy
- Warrington Contemporary Open
- West Lancashire Open Art competition, Chapel Gallery
- Black and White, Arthouse Southport Community
- Artist of the month, Arthouse SCA
- Microscopic ceramics at Southport Arts Festival
- Phil Redmond’s Auction in support of BabyGrow
- Loughborough Makers’ Market with Northern Potters
- White and Black at FaB Bath Arts Festival
- Clay Collective, Platform Gallery, Clitheroe
- Art with a Heart exhibition, Altrincham, Cheshire
- Northern Potters’ Exhibition, UCLAN, Preston
- West Lancashire Arts Open exhibition, Chapel Gallery
- West Lancashire Arts Open Competition, Chapel Gallery
- MA Art and design degree show, UCLAN
- In my Liverpool Home installation, Skelmersdale
- BTEC exhibition, SCOLA gallery, Sutton, Surrey
2000 – 08
- Student exhibitions, SCOLA
- Open College certificate exhibition, SCOLA gallery
- 2017 Featured Artist in A5 magazine
- 2017 Appear in the COCA (Centre for Ceramic Art) website, Rethink Ceramics
- 2016 Work featured in Average Art professional art magazine
- 2016 NPA News
- 2015 NPA News
- 2013 MA thesis on public art and New Town development archived in the National Gallery and National Library of Australia
These posts describe how the pieces in OUTBREAK embody the character of each viral chess piece and the blood cells that carry them. The ceramic pieces are designed to give a suggest of the power and function of each.
There are more pawns than any other pieces and they are easily removed from the game. The Pawn can move from straight ahead only. From its starting square, the pawn can move 1 or 2 squares straight ahead.
RED AND WHITE BLOOD CELLS have two main functions; the carriage of oxygen and defence against microbial attack.