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Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me (2010) Out of print
£15 rrp Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me features all 158 drawings from Bobby’s touring exhibition. The drawings are an astonishing record of Bobby’s journey from mental and physical illness to eventual recovery. Moving, shocking and unexpectedly hilarious in turn, they reveal both the stark realities of living with mental illness and society’s lack of understanding. With an introductory essay by Marina Warner, and essays by Bobby and by her daughter Dr Dora Whittuck, clinical psychologist, this book is a rich, rewarding visual experience and a fascinating insight into the interplay between art, mental health and society.
Mind Book of the Year 2011 Only available from Blackwell’s Bookshop at the Wellcome Collection, and not from Daily Life Ltd direct.
Bobby Baker DVD Series
£15 plus p+p / £120 plus p+p (excluding VAT) DVDs are available to buy individually or as a 9 DVD Bumper Box set Individual titles: Drawing on a Mother’s Experience, Cook Dems, Kitchen Show, How to Shop, Take a Peek!, Grown-Up School, Box Story, Table Occasion No 19 and How to Live. Bumper Box set: this specially discounted series brings together all nine DVDs. Please contact the office for all DVD purchase enquiries.
Redeeming Features of Daily Life
£25 rrp “Performance artist and painter Bobby Baker has daringly confronted the fragilities and pleasure of human existence with challenging honesty. In a powerful feminist tradition of speaking herself – speaking her own truth – she has ranged from hilarity to the deepest pathos. Her vision, sometimes excruciating, has produced a singular and profoundly important body of art work about the struggle and the joys of living.” Griselda Pollock, University of Leeds “Finally, a book on Bobby Baker! Here is an important artist — important to visual art, to performance art, to culinary art, to frank and brave art. Here is a book essential for anyone invested in questions of mental health, feminism, hilarity, pain, everyday life on the planet, and the crushing honesty of the banal detail. Here, too, is a beautiful book, full of images and insights, smartness and hope.” Rebecca Schneider, Brown University Bobby Baker is one of the most widely acclaimed and popular performance artists working today. This fully-illustrated book brings together for the first time an account of Baker’s career as an artist with critical commentary by reviewers and academic practitioners. It includes: – Bobby Baker’s own ‘Chronicle’ of her work as artist and performer
– Transcripts of Baker’s performances and other original material reproduced here for the first time
– Illuminating critical writing about Baker’s shows, carefully edited and contextualised
– Significant new essays by Michèle Barrett and Griselda Pollock and a new interview with Bobby Baker by Adrian Heathfield Under the guiding editorial hand of distinguished cultural theorist Michèle Barrett, this volume is a hugely absorbing and accessible account of Baker’s work and an essential text for students interested in performance, gender and visual culture. Available from all good bookshops, not from Daily Life Ltd direct.
WOW: Drawing on a (Grand) Mother’s Experience at London Southbank in 2020
Drawing on a Mother’s Experience, Bobby Baker. Photo © Andrew Whittuck, 1988 Bobby Baker’s critically acclaimed performance, Drawing on a (Grand) Mother’s Experience, returns to WOW – Women of the World festival at the Southbank in 2020, for WOW’s tenth anniversary! In 2015, WOW festival founder, Jude Kelly, invited Bobby Baker to re-stage her seminal 1988 work Drawing on a Mother’s Experience. By then a grandmother, and as dedicated a feminist as ever, Baker chose to instead bring it up to date, creating the sell-out Drawing on a (Grand) Mother’s Experience. This powerfully affecting and hilarious show explores the experience of early motherhood from an older and more reflective vantage point, whilst considering the challenge of combining motherhood with the drive to retain autonomy. Tickets are already selling well, so book soon via the Southbank website! Location: Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London Date: 8 March 2020 at 2pm and 7.30pm Pricing: £22 Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00) (Concessions 25% off)
‘Sticky Labels: Women and the Mental Health System’ at WOW London
First FEAT, Bobby Baker, 2008. Photo Andrew Whittuck, 2008 Sticky Labels: Women and the Mental Health System As part of WOW – Women of the World Festival Bobby Baker leads a panel investigating why women have been branded everything from ‘witches’ to ‘morally insane’. There is a long history of women – particularly those who don’t conform to social norms – being given derogatory labels. Join this discussion to explore the politics of women and mental health, and the misogyny within the contemporary psychiatric diagnostic framework. Join Bobby Baker, and a panel of specialists by both profession and experience, to consider strategies of survival, rebellion and resilience. More speakers to be announced. Date: Fri 6 March 2020
Location: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank
Find out more and book tickets here.
Collage Arts Open Studios – 7th, 9th + 10th Nov
This weekend Bobby Baker’s Daily Life Ltd. studio will be open as part of Collage Arts N22 Open Studios. Collage Artspace 3, Cumberland Road, Wood Green, N22 7BU Private view: 7th November, 18:00 – 21:00. Open Studios weekend: 9th + 10th November, 12:00 – 18:00. Come and visit us in our new studio, have a cup of tea and hear about Bobby’s EPIC DOMESTIC: the domestic revolutionary party fit for the 21st Century.
The Empathy Clinic at The Big Anxiety Festival
Bobby Baker’s Diary Drawings, 1997-2008, in The Empathy Clinic, The Big Anxiety Festival 2019, UNSW Galleries Sydney, Australia. Photograph © Cynthia Sciberras. Bobby Baker’s Diary Drawings make their Australian debut as part of The Empathy Clinic in The Big Anxiety Festival at UNSW Galleries, Paddington, Sydney. Baker’s touring exhibition, Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me 1997-2008, premiered at the Wellcome Collection in 2009. The accompanying book of the same name won the MIND Book of the Year 2011.This smaller collection of 31 drawings, curated by Baker from the original exhibition, tell the story of her experiences of day hospitals, acute psychiatric wards, ‘crisis’ teams and a variety of treatments. They chart the ups and downs of her recovery, family life, work as an artist, breast cancer and just how funny all this harrowing stuff can be. The Big Anxiety brings together artists, scientists and communities to question and re-imagine the state of mental health in the 21st century. Contributing artists are Bobby Baker, Sherre DeLys, John A Douglas and Stella Topaz, fEEL, Grant Jonathon (HTMLflowers), Ilawanti Ungkutjuru Ken and Naomi Kantjuriny, Debra Keenahan, Sam Kerr-Phillips, Lee Lai, Leigh Ledare, Eugenie Lee, Jason Maling, Amanda McDowell, Vic McEwan, r e a and Judy Atkinson, Thom Roberts, Wart and Phil Downing, Uti Kulintjaku Initiative. It is curated by Jill Bennett and Bec Dean and runs until 16 November 2019. Location: UNSW Galleries, Paddington, Sydney, Australia Dates: 27 September – 16 November 2019 Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-5pm. Closed Public Holidays
Art & Protest: What’s there to be mad about?
Pull Yourself Together, Bobby Baker. Image © Hugo Glendenning, 2000 Art & Protest: What’s there to be mad about? is a group exhibition of artworks and protest ephemera curated by artist and activist Dolly Sen. The exhibition is currently on at Bethlem Gallery in Beckenham and features documentation of Bobby Baker’s Pull Yourself Together. There are people who rise up against what has hurt them, whether it be psychiatric coercion, benefit cut deaths, austerity, or any other form of oppression. The exhibition is a celebration and acknowledgement of the role of art in political activism. As Sen says, “Art is our armour to go into battle with”. The exhibition “provides a platform for dialogue around art, activism and the mental health system.” Location: Bethlem Gallery, Beckenham, Kent Dates: 7th September – 8th November 2019 Hours: 10am – 5pm Wednesday – Friday, plus the first & last Saturdays of the month.
The Journal & The Gazette Culture Awards 2019
Great & Tiny War recently won Best Event Tyneside at The Journal & The Gazette Culture Awards 2019. Huge thanks to the amazing community of people who helped to make the work the success it was – including the tour hosts, the local community groups we worked with, our production team, commissioners 14-18 NOW, our funders, the people who nominated us and one very accommodating landlord. If you missed, or want to relive, Great & Tiny War, you can read, see and watch videos about it here, on Wunderbar’s dedicated mini-website.
Tarros de Chutney: Bobby Baker’s brand new retrospective opens soon in Madrid
Visitors to La Casa Encendida, a stellar cultural centre in Madrid, are being introduced to artist Bobby Baker’s extraordinary universe in a major retrospective. The exhibition Tarros de Chutney opens in Madrid on February 22nd and runs through to April 21st. It provides an insight into the richness and relevance of Baker’s body of work and features early paintings, sketch books, story boards and prints including the acclaimed Diary Drawings. For the first time a collection of ‘Timed Drawings’, made by Baker in 1984 when her children were small will be shown alongside a video produced especially for the exhibition by curator Clara Zarza. As well as a performance of Drawing on a (Grand) Mothers Experience, the exhibition launches Baker’s current project – EPIC DOMESTIC. Drawing on a (Grand) Mother’s Experience, Bobby Baker. Image © Belinda Lawley, 2015 “EPIC DOMESTIC is my plan to create a Domestic Revolutionary Party fit for the Twenty First Century. For this exhibition I have made the first Propaganda Poster and a wall painting to launch the Party.” Bobby Baker, 2019. You can find out more about EPIC DOMESTIC here.
Launched in Madrid in 2018, the project is ongoing with multiple elements. EPIC DOMESTIC models classic Revolutionary Parties, with Baker initially creating a series of Dissenting Propaganda posters and tiny Domestic films, followed by an ambitious social media campaign. Ultimately the campaign will involve live Dadaistic acts in public spaces, where Baker emerges from the Kitchen and takes to the streets wearing exquisite, strange yet utilitarian outfits. She plans to ultimately recruit other Rebellious Participants and create a city-wide campaign including public murals, billboards and Elegantly Choreographed Riots. EPIC DOMESTIC is a campaign for a New World where highly skilled prancing, but stately, domestic experts, like Baker, are finally rewarded for their “Grossly Undervalued Domestic Labour” (Sandi Toksvig).