10 September to 17 October 2020

I Decided I Want to Walk is Helen Cammock's first exhibition at Kate MacGarry Gallery, London. The exhibition features Cammock's new work They Call It Idlewild, which was first exhibited at Wysing, and a new project of screen prints.

For more information, visit the gallery website by clicking here.

Cammock explores social histories through film, photography, print, text, song and performance. She is motivated by her commitment to questioning mainstream historical narratives around blackness, womanhood, wealth, power, poverty and vulnerability. Mining her own biography in addition to the histories of oppression and resistance, multiple and layered narratives reveal the cyclical nature of histories.

The exhibition features Cammock’s new work They Call It Idlewild (2020). The film acts as a reflection on the politics of idleness and what it means creatively, emotionally and culturally to be idle at a time when the questions are being asked more widely about the physical and emotional costs of hyper-productivity, required by Neoliberalism. Cammock explores the processes of idleness through visual and poetic intertextuality drawing on writers such as Audre Lorde, Mary Oliver, James Joyce and Jonathan Crary. Part way through the film, Cammock begins to sing Johnny Mercer’s depression-era song ‘Lazy Bones’, drawing an explicit link between several historical periods, a reminder of the pervasiveness of racial stereotypes around

laziness and the toxic hypocrisies of the slave business and land-owning classes. They Call it Idlewild asks; who gets to be lazy?

They Call It Idlewild was first exhibited at Wysing, Cambridge in March 2020 following a residency responding to the forgotten histories, photographs and artworks uncovered in Wysing's archive. Cammock’s film has gained currency with the pandemic. Observation and patience are offered alongside urgent conversations of complacency and collusion. A new project of screen prints respond to a moment that is both past and current - political and social - individual and collective - asking how one exists without the other. Through the poetic quality and potential of language these propositions, and perhaps provocations, ask us to pay attention.

For more information about Cammock's They Call It Idlewild exhibition at Wysing, please click here.