In remembrance of a South London medium fried chicken meal deal (triptych).
39cm x 27cm, 13cm x 30cm, 12cm x 27cm
Lead glazed earthenware.
Collaging together ‘modern archaeological’ finds; fried chicken bones and iconic ceramic fragments from cheap everyday kitchen crockery Helen creates humorous, but surreal and unsettling objects. Celebrating the precarious, overlooked and disregarded. The slip cast handles and knobs are ubiquitous objects that we take for granted, but reconfigured onto strange plants they have an attitude and cheekiness. Some of her pieces are titled after everyday puns; ‘With Knobs On’.
So too, the discarded chicken bones from the countless British high street fried chicken shops, like ceramic finds, can survive indefinitely (unless your dog eats them). They also act as motif and witness to a working class history; Echoing the oyster shells that were thrown into the river Thames in London by the Georgian and Victorian dock workers whose diet included a lot of oysters which were a cheap and plentiful food at the time. Within the work are subsidiary meanings and connections; bones were passed onto the ceramic industry from slaughter houses and included in clay to add strength and lightness.
The ordinary is evolved further with the application of flamboyant and flowing lead glazes inspired by the 18th Century ceramicist Thomas Whieldon, adding a sense of anthropomorphic animation to the objects.