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Helen Carr

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I am a working-class artist and teacher. I explore concepts of social class, food history, superstition, and my trade union heritage with work inspired by folk art, industry, and my family. I play with mixed materials and symbols, for e.g., fabric trade union banners, chicken bones, corn weaving, feathers, coins, false nails and playing cards. I repurpose ubiquitous ceramic objects: handles, spouts, and knobs, for their intimate, everyday connection to us, and shapes that echo body parts.

I am a key activist in the sustained campaign to fight the demolition of Cressingham Gardens, the Lambeth council estate I live on, and a stimulus for my sculpture is 17thC Lambeth Delftware. Lambeth Delftware was processed very quickly, and crockery editions were made for electioneering campaigns, support for-and-against laws and to commemorate or mock Royalty. Observing the continuing gentrification of London, the multitude of fried chicken bones discarded on pavements I include in my work, also act as motif for the disenfranchised.
I use ceramic/ textile for their historical connection with process and industry and as materials that are often viewed in a hierarchy of value and social class that is very familiar to us.

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