It’s a question of balance. The darker side of Lou Baker’s sculptural practice is balanced by a brighter side of social engagement as she makes public things that are normally private. Sensory, immersive, and often participatory, her works are provocations- to thought, conversation and action.
Jung’s individuation is about finding meaning in life. It involves balancing our multiple selves with the dark side, or shadow, of our self. Failure to acknowledge this shadow can result in fragmentation and associated mental health issues. It’s ultimately a preparation for death.
Stereotypically, hand-knitting and stitch are functional, perfect and finished, connected with garments, domesticity, comfort and the body. Lou Baker subverts these expectations by ‘knitting together’ her ideas through her explorations of material, process, form, colour, surface and installation. It’s sculptural, sloppy craft; unfinished, unravelling. Site-responsive, it’s shapeshifting, formlessness and flexible; immersive, alluring, yet somehow, also, uncanny. Its soft impermanence and associated femininities remind us of our mortality.
Making is thinking. Her performative making leaves traces of the form and force of her body in her work. Researching the transformation and synthesis of materials, and the mark-making potential of her chosen processes, challenges conventional representations of the body. She creates an uneasy tension in aesthetics, evoking a bodily presence with notions of absence and the abject.
For details of her most recent research and works during her MA Fine Art, 2019-21, visit her MA Fine Art research website.
Much of her work doesn’t fit easily into just one category, but for this website it’s divided into the following areas: