Virus billiards

An old bar game of billiards transformed by spiky white ceramic viruses.  These pieces are inspired by viral forms but also the fragile beauty of underwater coral. The one red piece that sits on its own definitely found its inspiration there.

Virus billiards 1

 

Virus Billiards 2.jpg

I have also been experimenting with filling chemistry jars with viral shapes. I like the contrast of their sharp fragility with the shiny glass walls of the jars.  In the smaller jar the viruses are almost tipping outside of their protective container.

Virus Billiards 4

I am intending to turn all my viral work into one mad viral laboratory. Nearly finished making them.  Just  watch this space……

Anticipation

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?)

My foot

Blood cells on the move

viral-chess-set-mostyn-5

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?

Exhibitions etc.

2017  

  • Solo exhibition OUTBREAK at STEAM, Wigan
  • Gender fluidity at FaB Bath Arts Festival of emerging makers
  •  Northern Potters’ Exhibition, University of Central Lancashire, Preston

2016

  • 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

2015

  • Art with a Heart exhibition, Altrincham, Cheshire
  • Northern Potters’ Exhibition, UCLAN, Preston

2014

  • West Lancashire Arts Open exhibition, Chapel Gallery

2013

  • West Lancashire Arts Open Competition, Chapel Gallery

2012

  •  MA Art and design degree show, UCLAN

2010

  •  In my Liverpool Home installation,  Skelmersdale

2009

  • BTEC exhibition, SCOLA gallery, Sutton, Surrey

2000 – 08

  • Student exhibitions, SCOLA
  • Open College certificate exhibition, SCOLA gallery

 

PRESS

  • 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

Characters on the board

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.

PAWNS

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.

blood-cells-pawns-red-and-white

RED AND WHITE BLOOD CELLS  have two main functions; the carriage of oxygen and defence against microbial attack.

Related image

Avian flu Rooks

ROOKS  can move any number of squares in horizontal and vertical directions, but cannot jump over any other piece. In the OUTBREAK  this is Avian Flu.

Rook

AVIAN FLU Commonly called bird flu this virus is transmitted by breathing it in, or when a person touches something that has the virus on it and then touches their mouth, eyes, nose or mouth.

Image result for avian flu microscope

Bacteriophage Bishops

BISHOPS traditionally represent the power of the church and spirituality. The Bishop can move any number of squares only diagonally and cannot jump over any pieces. In the game of  OUTBREAK they are represented by bacteriophages.

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Bacteriophages Phage therapy or viral phage therapy is the therapeutic use of bacteriophages to treat pathogenic bacterial infections. They are created from within a cell’s own DNA.

Related image

Knight Hepatitis B

KNIGHTS

These aggressive warriors look like nail bombs. The Knight can move from one corner to the other of any 2 x 3 rectangle of squares. The Knight is also the only piece that can jump over any other chess pieces. In OUTBREAK  they are Hepatitis B.

White Night

Hepatitis B is a contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. It is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected.

hepatitis virus, dental referrals