Bobby Baker installation

by Alain Chivilò

 

Are you ready to eat an art installation? From 1976 to 2023, forty-six years later, artist Bobby Baker’s feminist installation “An Edible Family in a Mobile Home” returns to Tate Britain. A re-edition for today also with a vegan option.

Yesterday, Baker’s prefabricated house in East London, now, it is replicated and placed outside Tate Britain on the South Lawn in an updated version, such as the refurbished original mother mannequin, figures of a daughter, a son, a husband and a newborn in garibaldi biscuits, meringue, and various flavours of cake baked by Lily Vanilli and assembled by Baker and her team.

The installation features five life-size sculptures of family members made from cakes, biscuits and meringues, which will be constantly eaten by the public. Visitors can enter, visit and eat the various edible sculptures, while also speaking to the hosts, including Baker. This installation was made possible by public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

The re-edition of the art installation possible to eat is scheduled for the exhibition “Women in Revolt! Art and Activism in the UK 1970-1990”, Tate Britain, from 8 November 2023 to 7 April 2024.

 

Biography by TB

Bobby 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 pioneering works such as Drawing on a Mother’s Experience (1988), and Kitchen Show (1991). Born in 1950 in Kent, UK, she graduated from Painting at St. Martins School of Art (1972, now Central Saint Martins) and holds an Honorary Doctorate from Queen Mary University London. Performances and installations include Great & Tiny War, Newcastle (2018); An Edible Family in a Mobile Home (1976), London; Drawing on a (Grand) Mother’s Experience, WOW-Women of the World Festival, London (2015); Kitchen Show (1991), London, Adelaide Festival and touring; How to Live, Barbican Centre, London (2004); Table Occasions 9–15, Münchner Künstlerhaus, Munich (1998); How to Shop, Chicago International Festival of Arts (1996); Cook Dems, Harbour Front Centre, Toronto (1992); and Box Story, Arnolfini, Bristol (2001). Selected solo exhibitions include Tarros de Chutney, La Casa Encendida, Madrid (2019); Art Supermarket and Perpetuity in Icing, ICA, London (1978); and Diary Drawings: ‘Mental Illness’ and Me 1997–2008, Wellcome Collection, London (touring exhibition) (2009). Forthcoming projects include EPIC DOMESTIC at The Tetley, Leeds as part of Leeds 2023 Year of Culture (12–17 December 2023); and participation in the Hayward Touring exhibition On Art and Motherhood, curated by Hettie Judah for Arnolfini, Bristol (9 March–2 June 2024), touring to MAC, Birmingham (26 June–6 October 2024); Millennium Gallery, Sheffield (24 October 2024–21 January 2025) and a further venue in 2025.

 

©AC, NDSL, AM, Alain Chivilo

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