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Complete audio of the interview with Bobby Baker
Bobby Baker is a woman, and an artist. She lives in London, England. She was trained as a painter at St Martins School of Art but, on leaving, found cake and performance more effective ways to express her ideas. Since the early 1970s she has produced an extensive repertoire of work based on her personal experiences of life. She works in a variety of media including performance, food, site-specific installation, radio, TV, painting and drawing.
Major works include An Edible Family in a Mobile Home (1976); Packed Lunch (1979); Drawing on a Mothers Experience 1988; The Daily Life Series 1-5 (1991-2001), commissioned by LIFT; and How To Live, funded by a Wellcome Trust Sciart Production award and ACE and launched at the Barbican, London, in 2004. Bobby Baker’s acclaimed Diary Drawings exhibition was first shown at the Wellcome Collection in London in 2009, and continues to tour internationally. It comprises 158 images selected from over 700 drawings created by Bobby between 1997 – 2008, charting her struggle to overcome mental and later physical illness. Following her critically acclaimed exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in 2009, Bobby Baker’s Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me, and the subsequent Mind Book of the Year Award winning book (2011), her work now focuses increasingly on the area of mental health and its relationship with the arts.
Her company is called Daily Life Ltd, part of the Arts Council National Portfolio, and is based in East London. Baker has recently been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Queen Mary, University of London.
Daily Life Ltd is currently touring a new production Mad Gyms & Kitchens commissioned for Unlimited, a project celebrating disability, arts, culture and sport on an unprecedented scale as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.