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Mad Gyms & Kitchens

Bobby Baker performance, made in collaboration with Charlie Whittuck

First performance at Daily Life Ltd.’s London studio and to multiple venues nationwide thereafter

Mad Gyms & Kitchens was a collaboration between Bobby Baker and sculptor Charlie Whittuck commissioned as part of Unlimited, a Cultural Olympiad programme celebrating the arts and cultural work of Deaf and disabled artists. Together they created five flight cases, which contained a custom-built touring set for a so called ‘wellness’ roadshow. From working-out to chilling out, via the kitchen sink, the roadshow investigated how to get better at feeling better (cup of tea included). A scrapbook of ‘Top Tips for Wellness’ was produced by visitors.

Mad Gyms & Kitchens previewed in September 2011 at Daily Life Ltd.’s London studio, which, at that time, was based at the home of Graeae Theatre Company. The work was launched with a 32-date national tour beginning at ICIA Bath University in September 2011, before heading to Walsall, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton, Warwick, Newcastle, County Durham, Sunderland, Morpeth, Leeds, and ending in September 2012 at the Unlimited Festival, Southbank Centre, London. In January 2014 it went back on the road for a 7-month tour around Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets.

The project received funding from the Unlimited programme and was developed with the support of Baker’s long-term collaborator, Siân Stevenson, whose expertise lies in performance development and public engagement. A detailed case study on the project can be found on the microsite Artful Measures.

Mad Gyms & Kitchens formed part of The Daily Life Project – a 3-year exploration of Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets, on the ground and online, to meet individuals from all walks of life who have personal experience of mental health issues. The Daily Life Project included the presentation and co-creation of artworks, innovative participatory arts, and mental health research.

For full credits see the Artful Measures microsite

Related links

Bobby Baker’s Mad Gyms and Kitchens – review by Lyn Gardner, 12 October 2011

Watch two 90-second films about Mad Gyms & Kitchens commissioned as part of the project PUSH ME for The Space 

Watch Total Permission, a 30-minute documentary for The Space, featuring Bobby Baker’s Mad Gyms & Kitchens

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