Lou Baker

I am both a maker and a facilitator. My works are provocations, often interactive, collaborative and participatory. Some aspects of my practice investigate the transformation of materials, some focus on social engagement. Making intellectual connections between material, process and concept, my work has a confessional element, as personal memories resonate with universal themes. My work provokes a range of conflicting responses; attraction, repulsion, horror and hilarity. I make public things that are normally private. I graduated with First Class Honours in Drawing and Applied Arts at UWE, Bristol in 2015 and was awarded the Embroiderers’ Guild scholarship that year. 

Website: www.loubakerartist.co.uk

Instagram: @loubakerartist

Artist Statement

Carl Jung describes individuation as a process which needs to occur in mid-life, of finding meaning in life. It’s ultimately a preparation for death. It involves balancing our multiple selves with the dark side, or shadow, of our self. Jung suggests that failure to acknowledge and accept this shadow can result in fragmentation and associated mental health issues. 

 

'Parts of me' is an installation of four sculptural assemblages, a self-portrait. It makes visible the balance and binaries of individuation - self/other, feminine/masculine, inside/outside, public/private, order/disorder, form/formlessness, life/death. Boundaries provide certainty; regarding them as thresholds acknowledges them as flexible. Mary Douglas suggests that this prompts not only danger, but also power. 

 

For Freud, the uncanny locates strangeness in the spaces between the familiar and the unfamiliar. He maintains that self-portraiture is a way that humans attempt to avoid death and that these replicas, instead of being an assurance of immortality, often become the uncanny harbingers of death. Julia Kristeva claims that the abject exists on the edges too, defining the self by creating a boundary between self and other. 

 

Knitting is, stereotypically, functional, perfect and finished. It’s associated with garments, domesticity, comfort and the body; here it’s alluring yet, somehow, also discomforting. It’s not a conventional medium for sculpture; its femininities and soft impermanence remind us of our mortality. According to Douglas, it’s matter out of place. Metal, on the other hand, has been used for sculpture throughout history; it’s hard, permanent and is attributed more masculine values. My cast feet are hyper-realistic, yet also surreal, fragile, broken; my shoes add an uncomfortable mix of presence and absence, humour and disquiet.

 

'Parts of me' is made up of parts ‘knitted together’ as an uncanny whole; connected, disconnected, hanging, balanced, fallen, hovering, draped, hidden.

Bath School of Art and

Bath School of Design

Bath Spa University

Locksbrook Road
Bath
BA1 3EL

01225 875875

www.bathspa.ac.uk