The Outbreak Games


An earlier edition of this work  when the pieces were all a similar size and I had not added the bright red blood cell pawns.  I  developed this work by making certain of the pieces larger to emphasise their significance and potential danger, for example the KING HIV& AID’s is now significantly taller and the Queen TB is also a much larger and dramatic figure. At the same time I added screen print slogans and statements about viruses – see below – to emphasise the impact that viruses have on the lives of those suffering with them.



Sensible footwear

The chilly blue feet belie the affection with which they were made. One foot holds firmly onto the surface and the other moves up in anticipation of what is ahead.  In the version shown below the anticipatory feet have the advantage of being plugged in to a source of power.














And this is one of my own feet glazed in cheerful yellow to suggest a sunny outlook, with a contrasting blue thought bubble to suggest ideas bubbling up.

My foot

Figurative women

Pandora's Boxes

Pandora in her golden glasses holds the key to unlocking her boxes. Do the glasses mean that she is blinded to what is inside or to protect her from it? The sharp corners of the boxes are in contrast with the African inspired Pandora figure. The glasses are decorated in gold lustre.

Her partner, Finishing Line, a tired figure on her 1970’s Space Hopper has finished her happy journey.

Exhibitions and press

  • Solo Exhibition OUTBREAK at STEAM, Wigan
  • Gender fluidity at FaB Bath Arts Festival
  • Northern Potters’ Exhibition, University of Central Lancashire, Preston
  • Royal Cambrian Open Art competition, Conwy
  • Warrington Contemporary Open
  • West Lancashire Open Art competition, Chapel Gallery
  • Black and White, Arthouse Southport Community
  • Artist of the month, Arthouse SCA
  • Microscopic ceramics at Southport Arts Festival
  • Phil Redmond’s Auction in support of BabyGrow 
  • Loughborough Makers’ Market with Northern Potters
  • White and Black at FaB Bath Arts Festival
  • Clay Collective, Platform Gallery, Clitheroe
  • Art with a Heart exhibition, Altrincham, Cheshire
  • Northern Potters’ Exhibition, UCLAN, Preston
  • West Lancashire Arts Open exhibition, Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk
  • West Lancashire Arts Open Competition, Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk
  • MA Art and design degree show, UCLAN
  • In my Liverpool Home installation,  Skelmersdale
  • BTEC exhibition, SCOLA gallery, Sutton, Surrey
2000 – 08
  • Student exhibitions, SCOLA
  • Open College certificate exhibition, SCOLA gallery


  • 2014/2015 AA2A Ceramics residency at Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool.


  • 2017 Issue on-line featured a review of my work
  • 2017 Wotisart?  Magazine
  • 2017 Art Reveal Magazine
  • 2017 Featured artist in A5 magazine
  • 2017 Review of all my work featured in ARM magazine
  • 2017 Work featured in Average Art professional art magazine
  • 2017 Appear in the COCA (Centre for Ceramic Art) website,  Rethink Ceramics
  • 2016 Work featured in Average Art professional art magazine
  • 2016 NPA News
  • 2015 NPA News
  • 2013 MA thesis on public art and New Town development archived in the National Gallery and National Library of Australia

About Helen Birnbaum

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The influence of 1960’s design is clear in my  ceramic sculptures based on  microscopic images of plants and viruses, curious people and animals.  I have exhibited this thought provoking and humorous work throughout the UK.  In 2014 I was selected as ceramic artist in residence at Liverpool Hope University after graduating with an MA in Ceramic Art & Design from the University of Central Lancashire.  My thesis on pubic art is displayed in both the National Gallery and the National Library of Australia.   I am a Director of  a community arts centre and gallery in Skelmersdale and am an Advocate for FACT Liverpool.

Before this…

2012 MA Merit in Ceramic Art & Design, UCLAN

2014/2015  AA2A Ceramics residency at Liverpool Hope University

2013 Place offered /PhD Ceramics MMU

2008 Design Crafts BTEC Level 3  Distinction

2005 Adult Literacy Learner Support Level 2

1980 BA Hons English Literature Cardiff University

I am an experienced project manager, with excellent communications, team building and change management skills. I also have expertise in business planning and financial management, including the development of business cases, budgeting and financial forecasting.