The Long Note by Helen Cammock, promotional image, woman's arm extends as she writes musical notes on a music sheet with a recorder sitting off centre, a warm wooden floor underneath her

Helen Cammock

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The Long Note

Curated by Mary Cremin

The Long Note is a solo exhibition by artist Helen Cammock, celebrating the involvement of women in the civil rights movement in Derry in 1968 and coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the first march in Derry on October 5th. Cammock  has created a new film work – commissioned by Void Gallery – that explores the history and role of women in the civil rights movement in the city. The complexities of the politics in Northern Ireland have overshadowed the social history of the region and women’s history more specifically. Helen was subsequently nominated for the Turner Prize 2019 for her film The Long Note and jointly accepted the award with her fellow nominees in December 2019.

 

The Long Note

 

The Long Note (2018) is a partial move towards redressing this disparity and to recognise the need to expand the narrative and highlight the centrality of women in what was a pivotal moment in Derry and Ireland’s history.

 

Cammock’s practice often explores social histories through film, photography, print, text and performances creating multiple and layered narratives that are not linear in nature allowing for the cyclical nature of history to be revealed. Through these devices she will explore the motivation for women’s participation in the civil rights movement, the influence of the black civil rights movement and the invisibility of women in the historical narrative of the time, and how it impacted family life and the notion of loss. The film is an attempt to articulate the variety of political positions taken by women at that time, there was no one unifying position or one identity but a multitude of voices that permeated a tumultuous time in the city’s history.

 

Shouting in Whispers

 

Shouting in Whispers (2017) will be exhibited alongside the new work. This hour-long film takes edited YouTube clips along with original footage that moves through moments of conflict, political resistance, and protest from the 60’s to the present day. The film is punctuated by the artist singing and appearing intermittently throughout the film giving the past a voice in the present.  Both films are connected through their ability to relay the universal struggle and to give a voice to the invisible, to lay bare the importance of the collective experience, and acknowledging the power in the universal experience.

 

Both films address geopolitics in all its complexities, The Long Note brings women’s distinctive and diverse voices and perspectives to the fore while Shouting in Whisperstraverses the history of conflict from the period of the Vietnam War to the present day. Cammock retells history, making links between the past and the present and creating alternative histories, giving a voice to the unheard.

 

Helen Cammock Biography

 

Helen Cammock (b.1970, England) gained her MA in Photography from the RCA in 2011 and her BA (hons) in Photography from the University of Brighton in 2008. She had a solo exhibition at Cubitt, London (2017) and an exhibition and commission with Bookworks as part of Hull City of Culture (2017) and has been included in the Serpentine Cinema series, Tate Artist Moving Image Series and Open Source (2016). Helen was also the winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women (2018-19).

 

Helen Cammock works across film, photography, print, text and performance. She produces works stemming from a deeply involved research process that explore the complexities of social histories. Central to her practice is the voice: the uncovering of marginalised voices within history, the question of who speaks on behalf of whom and on what terms, as well as how her own voice reflects in different ways on the stories explored in her work.

 

Cammock’s practice is characterised by fragmented, non-linear narratives. Her work makes leaps between different places, times and contexts, forcing viewers to acknowledge complex global relations and the inextricable connection between the individual and society.

 

Acknowledgements

 

This exhibition is kindly supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the British Council.

 

Void Gallery is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Derry City and Strabane District Council, The Community Foundation of Northern Ireland, Halifax, with events sponsored by Northbound Brewery.

 

Funders logos for solo exhibition by Helen Cammock at Void Gallery, Derry, 2018, titled The Long Note

Void Engage Events

Thank you to everyone who visited Helen Cammock’s The Long Note which celebrated the anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement of 1968 and the role of women in particular.

The Long Note was a very popular show, with close to 600 visitors for our Engage programme of events, with over 25 tours, workshops, tours, performances, and an in conversation between Helen and curator Mary Cremin.

Artist filmmaker Mara Cavalli made a video which provides an overview of the exhibition. You can watch the video here.

 

Opening events

Friday 5th October, 6:30-9pm

 

We were delighted to welcome Bernadette Devliln McAliskey who formally launched the exhibition. Bernadette was one of the primary interviewees on the film The Long Note – commissioned specially by Void to celebrate the role of women in the Civil Rights Movement in Derry in 1968. We were also delighted to welcome other women who appeared on the film and who were involved at the time.

 

School Groups, Tours, and Family Workshops

Continuous throughout exhibition

 

We welcomed several school and community groups such as North West Regional College, Moville Community College, Artbridge Youth Community, and Western Trust. Each group responded positively to the exhibition and its subject matter.

We also welcomed Leann McLaughin who led an immensely popular Dreamcatcher Workshop and Helen Cammock came back towards the end of the show to run a series of workshops with women from the local community. Artist facilitator Karen Cassidy also ran our annual Christmas Decorations Making workshop which brought lots of Christmas cheer to the gallery.

 

In Conversation – Helen Cammock & Mary Cremin

Saturday 15th December

 

We were delighted to present this insightful event with curator Mary Cremin and artist Helen Cammock.

 

The Long Note – Workshops and Live Performance

 

Workshops 11-13 December

Performance: Friday 14th December, 8pm

 

During this week of workshops, women and girls from the local community of Derry met with artist Helen Cammock at Void to write the words to the composition The Long Note. Helen wrote the piece whilst making the film of the same name that was on display at Void and which celebrates and commemmorates women and their role in the Northern Irish Civil Rights Movement and beyond.

Void Gallery commissioned the film The Long Note and presented it to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement in Derry.

Helen and Void would like to thank all of those who took part in the event:

Alison Page, Amore, Audrey Doherty, Bronagh Sharkey, Brooke Kincaid, Constance Jordan, Dayle Kincaid, Fiona Gallagher, Georgie Munslow, Geraldine Kennedy-Gurney, Jessica Kelly, Jossy Aji, Nicola Herron, Sophia Gurney.

Special thanks to Ruth McPhillips for musical direction.

 

Dreamcatcher Workshop

 

Families joined artist facilitator Leann McLaughlin to make giant dreamcatchers from hullahoops and shirts from old shirt factories! This was such a popular event that we are running more in 2019!

 

Christmas Decoration-Making Workshop

 

Families joined artist facilitator Karen Cassidy as they enjoyed mince pies and Christmas music as they made their own Christmas cards, clay tree decorations and willow & tissue lanterns.

 

 

Book Your Tour for our next Exhibition Today!

 

Our next exhibition is a solo show by artist Liam Crichton with Autumns Stereo Object, who creates large-scale sculptures and installations that investigate the built environment.  If you would like to book a tour, please email engage@derryvoid.com or call 028 7130 8080.

Please stay tuned for more Void Engage events which will be run in support of the exhibition.

 

Thank you to everyone who attended. You can read more about Helen’s practice through the link below:

 

Helen Cammock

The Long Note introductory video

Curator Mary Cremin is joined in conversation with artist Helen Cammock to discuss her solo exhibition at Void Gallery The Long Note