Helen Cammock: There is bravery in sound

Helen Cammock: There is bravery in sound

Helen Cammock: There is bravery in sound

Helen Cammock

There is bravery in sound, 2023

Single colour screen print on Somerset Radiant white Tub Sized 410gsm

Diptych: single print each 11.7 x 16.5 inches

Hand signed and numbered by the artist 

Edition of 30 + 4 APs

£ 550 (incl. VAT)


This edition has been produced in conjunction with Helen Cammock’s Radio Ballads commission, titled Bass Notes and SiteLines (2022). Radio Ballads takes its name from a revolutionary series of eight radio plays broadcast on the BBC between 1957-64. Focusing on workers’ experiences and struggles through a combination of song, music, sound effects and the voices of communities, each ballad presented lived experiences and stories of work and resistance in the UK, at a time of rapid growth and change. Building on this rich history, four new ballads were produced in the aftermath of twelve years of austerity and dismantling of the UK care sector. The projects were developed and sustained throughout multiple global crises, amid the compounding issues of systemic racism, ableism and the COVID-19 pandemic, which have shed light on the innumerable ways in which those who do the work of care are often unsupported and devalued.

As a former social worker, Cammock is conscious of the deep responsibilities that these workers hold for others, and the impact that this can have in people’s lives. Through sessions with both people receiving care and those who offer it through adult social care work and an organisation called Pause, Cammock explored these ideas and others using drawing, photography, film, and song. In their collaborative workshops, the groups sang together, considered gesture as a way to communicate through the body, and explored their connections through music and lyric writing – reflecting on how the voice can shift registers to express pain, joy, rage, and care, whether alone or surrounded and supported by other voices.

Cammock is interested in what resistance and resilience look and feel like, and the relationship between them. For Bass Notes and SiteLines, she asked how we use our bodies and voices to articulate what we feel, and how aware we are of these performances – both in a specific moment and throughout our lives. Cammock’s limited edition diptych presents the viewer with a line taken from her film, offering the proposition that “bravery” does indeed lie in the vibrating of our forms, our attempts to articulate the often incommunicable of our interior through the bodily production of, not just words, but pure “sound”.

“I’m interested in how resistance and resilience can be shared by people but be presented in different ways, and how they can be read differently because of a person’s experience, context and subject position.” – Helen Cammock


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© Photo: readsreads.info