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Award winning artist fires up plans for British Art Show installation


A renowned artist has visited the University of Wolverhampton School of Art in preparation for starting work on her installation for the British Art Show 9 (BAS9) which is opening in Wolverhampton in January 2022.

Helen Cammock, who was born in Staffordshire, works across film, photography, print, text and performance. She was shortlisted for the 2019 Turner Prize and was awarded the prize along with the other three nominees. She was also awarded the Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2018. She has exhibited her work in London, Dublin, Cambridge, Beirut, Berlin and Venice and has had articles published in Frieze Magazine and the British Journal of Photography.

The British Art Show is presented by Hayward Gallery Touring every 5 years and it is the biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK and widely acknowledged as the most important recurrent exhibition of contemporary art produced in this country, unrivalled in its ambition, scope and national reach.

Wolverhampton will now host British Art Show 9 (BAS9) in January 2022 when new dates for the touring exhibition were announced by organisers after consultation with the partner cities.

In her forthcoming exhibit for BAS9, Helen will be exploring work made by her Jamaican-born father who was an amateur ceramicist and an art teacher in Wolverhampton. She will re-create ceramic objects that he made in the 1960s to form part of an installation which will be exhibited at the School of Art.

Helen said: “In 2014 I made a film called Changing Room which looked at my relationship with my father and explores the different barriers that people face.  I shot the entire film in his home after he moved into a care home and I found some moulds in his garage. These were ceramic objects which I used as characters in the film while I’m having conversations about a variety of things including race and the family’s aspirations.

“It’s my intention to use the facilities in the School of Art to remake some of those pieces that will sit alongside the video installation. The British Art Show is a big exhibition and it’s really exciting to be involved and particularly when there’s a sense of coming back to the place I was born, it’s like coming full circle.”

Maggie Ayliffe, Head of the University of Wolverhampton School of Art, said: “BAS is a national exhibition and we’re really looking forward to this one being hosted and opening in Wolverhampton.

“The Creative Industries is a massive part of the economy and it’s important that people know, during these strange times, that the School of Art is still open and students are still making work.

“BAS9 will be a time when we can hopefully open the doors again and we can celebrate the re-emergence of culture in the city.”

Paul Mcallister, Course Leader in Glass and Ceramics at the University, said: “During Helen’s visit we discussed her ideas about recreating her father’s work and we are assessing how the historical moulds will perform so that we can replicate the objects with confidence.

“The British Art Show is a really good snapshot of what’s going on in the art world, and in this peculiar time, art and creative arts are very important in terms of how we communicate ideas, feelings and how we think about our lives. 

“We like having visiting artists working in the department because students can watch them work in different ways and see the methods they use. That’s a very important experience for students. I feel very proud that we can host such a prestigious exhibition here, it’s great for the city and it’s a real coup for Wolverhampton.”

Helen studied at the University of Brighton and the Royal College of Art, London. She is 48 and lives and works in London. During her visit to the University she discussed her ideas with key School of Art staff and looked at the facilities she would be using to prepare her exhibit.

British Art Show 9 curators Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar were selected by a panel of curators from Hayward Gallery Touring and the participating cities. They bring international experience to the role and have both worked on major exhibitions in the UK, Europe, America and Asia.

The exhibition introduces visitors to over 40 artists practising in Britain over the past five years, providing an insight into the most exciting contemporary art being produced in this country in this extraordinary moment in our history. The exhibition explores three overarching themes – healing, care and reparative history; tactics for togetherness; and imagining new futures – these conceptual frameworks were devised prior to the pandemic, however, with the recent global recognition of racial injustice sparked by the Black Lives Matter protests of summer 2020, all three thematics have become even more relevant to the present moment.

Artists include: Hurvin Anderson, Michael Armitage, Simeon Barclay, Oliver Beer, Zach Blas, Kathrin Böhm, Maeve Brennan, James Bridle, Helen Cammock, Than Hussein Clark, Cooking Sections, Jamie Crewe, Oona Doherty, Sean Edwards, Mandy El-Sayegh, Mark Essen, Gaika, Beatrice Gibson, Patrick Goddard, Anne Hardy, Celia Hempton, Andy Holden, Joey Holder, Marguerite Humeau, Lawrence Lek, Ghislaine Leung, Paul Maheke, Elaine Mitchener, Oscar Murillo, Grace Ndiritu, Uriel Orlow, Hardeep Pandhal, Hetain Patel, Florence Peake, Heather Phillipson, Joanna Piotrowska, Abigail Reynolds, Margaret Salmon, Hrair Sarkissian, Katie Schwab, Tai Shani, Marianna Simnett, Victoria Sin, Hanna Tuulikki, Caroline Walker, Alberta Whittle and Rehana Zaman.


BAS9 has been conceived as a cumulative experience. The exhibition is designed to change and adapt to each of its four host cities, presenting different combinations of artists and artworks that respond to their distinctive local contexts. The exhibition includes a film programme in each of the four host cities and online, expanding the selection of works on view.

Four of the new works in the British Art Show 9 tour are made possible with the generous support of the Art Fund and these will be acquired by museum partners in each city for their own collections, as a marker of the lasting legacy of this ambitious touring show. BAS9 will also benefit from the support of Arts Council England’s Project Grant for National Activities which is allowing partners to produce ambitious and wide ranging programmes of creative learning, civic engagement and participation that will further extend the reach of BAS9 across the four partner cities.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication published by Hayward Gallery Publishing which includes two wide-ranging curatorial essays, over 200 colour illustrations and original texts on all 47 artists.

About Hayward Gallery Touring

Hayward Gallery Touring organises contemporary art exhibitions that tour to galleries, museums and other publicly funded venues throughout Britain. In collaboration with artists, independent curators, writers and partner institutions, Hayward Gallery Touring develops imaginative exhibitions that are seen by up to half a million people in over 45 cities and towns each year.

Anyone wanting to study in the University of Wolverhampton School of Art should register for one of our Virtual Open Days or watch the latest event which was live streamed on YouTube.



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