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Helen Carnac
Badges & Medals


Enamel Experience - International Badge Exhibition
Museum der Arbeit

November 15 - December 2007

work: four pieces

Badges and medals are an ongoing subject of Carnac's research, which relates both to her practice of enamelling and its use in the making of signifiers such as badges, medals and emblems which are used to advertise or explore relationships to organizations, events in time or place or work or community.

Carnac's research questions cover:
1. How do signifiers in the form of badges relate to the viewer in a discordant society? Establishing dialogue/ marking territory.
2. How significant is the act of ‘nailing one’s colours to the mast’ as an individual in relation to group activity or exhibiting in relationship to raising debate/acknowledging political environment through object/signifier? This was put forward in an explicit way through the Anti-war medals touring the USA at a politically sensitive time.
3. What is the historic/contemporary tradition and importance of the use of vitreous enamel in the badge form?

This field of research is related to the ongoing work of Elizabeth Turrell, Senior Research Fellow, University of the West of England and the research group, ETC at UWE.

Part of this body of work is currently being shown at the Museum der Arbeit, Hamburg, in Enamel Experience - International Badge Exhibition 2007. This exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Turrell and touring USA, including National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis and Kent state University, OH.

exhibition flyer:

Museum der Arbeit

Slideshow: Helen Carnac - Badges and Medals

Carnac also participated in the original Anti War Medals exhibition, organized by Velvet da Vinci, USA which toured internationally.

Carnac's medal is held in the permanent collection of the Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin, USA. She has recently completed a second medal for the Thomas Mann Gallery, New Orleans, USA.

Related to this outcome, Carnac also made 500 enamel name badges for the Carry the Can conference.

visit the Carry the Can website

related outcome:
Helen Carnac: Who is Carrying the Can? and Value and Material

back to Helen Carnac home page

London Metropolitan University