duvet, hair, nails, plastic, leather, shower curtain, felted hand knitting, canvas, mirror, knitting, knitting needles

Identity is often communicated through the clothes we wear, but, at a deeper level, the multiple selves we reveal to the world can conceal our true sense of self.

Living sculptures, prison series, 2019 was a participatory installation in a decommissioned prison cell at B-Wing exhibition, in Shepton Mallet Prison from 21 Sept - 6 Oct 2019. Visitors were invited to try on a number of wearable sculptures, which had been made specifically in response to the prison. 

It was fabulous to witness the sculptures coming alive when they were worn. The ultimate in animation? And the laughter was infectious!


Here are some performance stills of the Living sculptures in action. I love the way that wearing my sculptures often makes people move differently!

Scroll down for more fabulous videos!

'Living sculptures: an invitation to participate
Please touch.
Try on the wearable soft sculptures and become a living sculpture.
Look in the mirror and take a selfie or video, if you like.
Try on the other soft sculptures.
What do you think?
Please post your photos and feedback on social media.'

The four Living sculptures were installed in the disused telephone booths by the front entrance of the prison wing, with a full-length mirror. I think that situating them there added something interesting to the sculptures. The phone booths became frames or vitrines; private, intimate spaces of connection and coversation in a time of isolation. Each time a sculpture was worn and replaced, the form of the static sculpture changed. They were shapeshifters.

This is an extension of the research I began in 2018. Please see 'Lou Baker, Living sculptures, research and development, 2018' on Academia. Since then I have also facilitated

Living sculptures at For Art's Sake, 2020 

Living sculptures at Social Scaffolding, Taunton, 2022 

 Living sculptures at Social Scaffolding, Emerge, 2022

and now, in 2023, I'm making some new wearable sculptures

NB In October 2022, two of these wearable sculptures, Padded cell and My Frankenstein's monster, were incorporated into a series of new sculptures, Transitional objects.

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