VENUE: UNSW GALLERIES
The ups and downs of recovery, family life, work as an artist, breast cancer and just how funny all this harrowing stuff can be.
Bobby Baker’s Diary Drawings: Mental Illness & Me, 1997-2008
31 Photographic prints of selected drawings
Taken from a series of 711 drawings
Bobby Baker began her Diary Drawings in 1997 after she had referred herself to a mental health day centre in London. Originally private, the drawings gradually became a way for her to communicate complex thoughts and emotions to her family, friends and professionals.
The drawings cover Bobby’s 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.
Her touring exhibition Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me, 1997−2008 premiered at the Wellcome Collection in London in 2009 and has since toured extensively in UK and Europe. The book of the same that accompanies the exhibition won the Mind Book of the Year Award in 2011. This is the first time a smaller collection of the drawings has been shown in Australia
Bobby Baker is a woman and an artist acclaimed for producing radical work of outstanding quality across disciplines including performance, drawing and multimedia.
In a career spanning four decades she has, amongst other things, danced with meringue ladies; made a life-sized version of her family out of cake; and driven around the streets of London strapped to the back of a truck yelling at passers by through a megaphone to ‘Pull Yourselves Together.’
Baker’s touring exhibition Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me 1997- 2008 premiered at the Wellcome Collection in 2009, and the accompanying book of the same name won the Mind Book of the Year 2011. Her most recent exhibition, Tarros de Chutney, was held in Madrid at La Casa Encendida in 2019.
Baker occupies a unique professional and personal position in the worlds of both the arts and mental health. Following an AHRC Creative Fellowship at Queen Mary University, London she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2011.