Bobby Baker

Stuck Indoors, Lockdown

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Year 2021
Medium Pencil, watercolour, acrylic, and assorted felt tip markers on paper
Dimensions 29.7 x 21 cm

About the work

This work is about my experience of being mostly shut indoors during lockdown, in my house in North London. Frustratingly, I couldn’t find a way to do any drawings. I don’t know why – maybe the subject was too vast? But I spent a huge amount of time thinking, listening to people from all over the world, and planning. The birds on my head are just a sample of a flock of new ideas which are now hovering around. My dog Biscuit and cat Roxy appear as a strange sort of temporary family.

About the artist:

Born 1950 Kent, Bobby Baker lives and works in London. Graduated from Painting at St. Martins School of Art (1972), and holds an Honorary Doctorate from Queen Mary University London.

Baker’s acclaimed intersectional feminist practice includes performance, drawing and installation, and persistently exposes the undervalued and stigmatised aspects of women’s daily lives, exemplified by seminal works such as Drawing on a Mother’s Experience (1988), and Kitchen Show (1991). Since the late 1990s, following her own lived experience of physical and mental ill health, recovery and survival, her work has actively confronted the failings and trappings of the mental health system. Using wit and humour as a device to disarm her audience, Baker critiques modern psychiatric diagnosis, and questions the prevailing intentions and messages around wellbeing and mental illness.

Performances and installations include Great & Tiny War, Newcastle (2018); Drawing on a (Grand) Mother’s Experience, WOW-Women of the World Festival, London (2015); How to Live, Barbican Centre, London (2004); Table Occasions 9-15, Münchner Künstlerhaus, Munich (1998); How to Shop, Performing Arts Chicago (1996); Cook Dems, Harbour Front Centre, Toronto (1992); and Art Supermarket and Perpetuity in Icing, ICA, London (1978). Selected solo exhibitions include Tarros de Chutney, La casa Encendida, Madrid (2019); Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me 1997-2008, Wellcome Collection, London and touring (2009); and Box Story, Arnolfini, Bristol (2001).

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