The research has looked at how communities can open up and close down – offering freedom and sanctuary to those within its boundaries as well as those perceived as outsiders. Hull has historically been, as many port towns, a passage point for different communities, yet it recently voted overwhelming to leave the EU – closing its doors to the outside. This closing down of community – and notions of who belongs and who does not – also happened after the First World War and the Second World War, when poverty, loss and politics collided with a growth of right wing sentiment and fascism, putting little known repatriation campaigns on the agenda.
Poverty, politics and survival have been a part of the story of Hull as much as wars, imperialism and trade have shaped the city. As in most cities, and especially ports, contradictions are numerous, and radical political activists and thinkers smatter the history of Hull leaving legacies that are often hard to understand and acknowledge. Cammock has brought together some of the voices that have come out of Hull’s history to ask some questions about what freedom, liberty and openess means for a city, its people and culture, which have been so connected to the building of ships and global trade for centuries, into a visual collage using photography, video, printmaking, writing and performance.
Helen Cammock’s practice uses photography, video, poetry, writing, performance, printmaking and installation. Her work has recently been screened and exhibited as part of Serpentine Cinema series, Open Source Contemporary Arts Festival and Tate Artists Moving Image Screening Programme, Tate Britain. She has written for Photoworks and Aperture magazines and was shortlisted for the Bridport poetry prize in 2015. Helen has had work published in The Photographers’ Gallery journal Loose Associations, had a solo exhibition, Shouting in Whispers, at Cubitt, London in 2017, and was awarded the Max Mara Art Prize for Women 2017 – 2019.
Moveable Bridge by Helen Cammock is published by Book Works in an edition of 250 copies. 12” Album with spoken word and songs by Helen Cammock, artist’s publication, 36 pages; in a gatefold sleeve 260mm x 260mm. Designed by Modern Activity.
Every purchase of this EP, will receive a link to a digital file hosted on Sound Cloud.
Commissioned as part of Beyond Words by the Freedom Festival Arts Trust, Hull Culture and Leisure Library Services and Book Works, in association with Hull History Centre, Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull, funded by James Reckitt Library Trust and Arts Council England.