The Day of The Duck
The prints ‘Portmanteau Ely’ and ‘Riverside Routines,’ and the
pamphlet ‘Migration Paths’ are illustrations and excerpts from the forthcoming artists’ book The Day Of The Duck by Helen Stratford and Lawrence Bradby. The book follows a Muscovy duck investigating the disappearance of its fellow kind. The duck suspects a plot to eliminate unacceptable and non-indigenous waterfowl from the city’s riverbanks. The duck’s journey takes it on a slow investigative walk encountering various city dwellers as it becomes both metaphor and representative of the meeting point of different conceptions of the English City. Ultimately, this ‘Duck Noir’ draws on notions of absurdity to explore, through (slightly fictional) extrapolations from daily life, how over-regulation and exclusion play out within contemporary cityscapes.
Helen Stratford has a background in architecture and makes site-specific and performative works. Her drawings, speculative writing and discursive platforms explore the politics of everyday life, using publications and exhibited work alongside live events she searches for modalities that expand architectural conventions.
The works formed part of an exhibition that was part of an Arts Council funded six-month residency with Babylon Gallery, Ely 2012.