The Queen of TB – tuberculosis

A very important player who can travel wherever she wants on the OUTBREAK  board, but she cannot jump over any pieces. The Queen is represented by T.B.


T.B. – Tuberculosis

The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected. You have a higher chance of getting TB disease, once infected, if you have HIV.Image result for tb virus images



The most powerful piece – if you lose the King you lose the battle. The side whose king is captured loses.



My ceramic  king represents HIV & AIDS.  HIV is transmitted via contaminated body fluids. It can also be contracted as a result of exposure to semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk or blood.



I have developed this work by making certain of the pieces larger to emphasise their significance and potential danger, for example the KING HIV& AID’s is now significantly taller and the Queen TB is also a much larger and dramatic figure. At the same time I have added screen print slogans and statements about viruses – see below – to emphasise the impact that viruses have on the lives of those suffering with them.




STORIES IN CLAY                        


This collection of jewellery is directly inspired by the Modernist architecture of the 1960’s. Take a look at my other blog site Concrete Contagion to see why

Atomic clocks whilst Pandora boxes

Pandora's Boxes

Pandora in her golden glasses holds the key to unlocking her boxes. Do the glasses mean that she is blinded to what is inside or to protect her from it? The sharp corners of the boxes are in contrast with the African inspired Pandora figure. The glasses are decorated in gold lustre.

In the partner piece, Finishing Line , the tired figure on her 1970’s Space Hopper has finished her happy journey.



These Sci Fi clocks were inspired by old  films.  Atomic bomb flumes decorate the tops of these countdown clocks which stand on top of distressed  the metal supports.



Weighed down

Weighed down, this  trans-sexual lion tells of society’s elastic and ever changing sexual identities. The lion was chosen as an ancient symbol of grandeur and cultural significance whilst the female and male genitalia tell a more modern story of confusion about our identity and place in the world.  The figure is elegantly made in stoneware clay and stained with black oxide to emphasise the rugged mane and indentations on the clasp around its paw.  A simple brass chain holds the animal down to the heavy ball on the ground. One feels immense sympathy with this kindly figure weighed down by society’s expectations.




Art that can turn a smile into a shiver? Helen Birnbaum’s ideas come from looking at microscopic images of plants and viruses, interesting people and animals.  She has exhibited her thought provoking and humorous work throughout the UK.  Helen  lives in Skelmersdale (a 1960’s New Town), Lancashire where she works on her ceramics and helps to run the Treehouse art gallery.

Before this…

2012 MA Merit in Ceramic Art & Design, UCLAN

2013 MA thesis  archived by the National Gallery & Library of Australia

2014/2015 AA2A Ceramics residency at Liverpool Hope University

2013 Place offered /PhD Ceramics MMU

2015 Advocate for Foundation for Art & Creative Technology Liverpool Advocate

2008 Design Crafts BTEC Level 3  Distinction

2005 Adult Literacy Learner Support Level 2

Experienced project manager, with excellent communications, team building and change management skills. Expertise in business planning and financial management, including the development of business cases, budgeting and financial forecasting.