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Helen Cammock Wins Max Mara Art Prize for Women

Helen Cammock.

COURTESY WHITECHAPEL GALLERY

Helen Cammock was awarded the Max Mara Art Prize for Women at a ceremony today at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. As the winner of the award, Cammock will travel to Italy in May to participate in a six-month residency program, through which she will create new work that will go on view in a solo exhibition next year at the Whitechapel.

“Over the six-month residency I’ll find myself in a culture that is new to me, meet practitioners who work in different ways to me and consider how my practice can move into dialogue with new histories,” Cammock said in a statement. “It is an opportunity for space and time to focus on being an artist—this is perhaps the most significant aspect of this prize.”

The artist’s winning proposal focuses on expressions of emotion—particularly those related to grief and resilience—in Italian artworks, with a focus on stifled female voices throughout the country’s history. Her residency will take place across six cities: Bologna, Florence, Venice, Rome, Palermo, and Reggio Emilia.

Cammock is based in London and works across a variety of mediums, including photography, spoken word, writing, song, performance, printmaking, and installation. Through her artistic practice, Cammock explores histories, storytelling, and overlooked or silenced perspectives. She has drawn inspiration from figures like Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Philip Larkin.

The Max Mara Art Prize for Women has been awarded every other year since 2005, and aims to support United Kingdom–based female artists who have not had a solo survey show. This year, the prize’s jury was chaired by Iwona Blazwick, the director of the Whitechapel Gallery, and included gallerist Vanessa Carlos, artist and 2011 prize winner Laure Prouvost, collector Marcelle Joseph, and art critic Rachel Spence.

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