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Timed Drawings

Following the birth of her daughter in 1980 and son in 1983, Bobby Baker took an unexpectedly long eight year interlude in her work as an artist. Reflecting on a loss of confidence in making work at this time, she writes in her book, Redeeming Features of Daily Life, ‘I found it extremely hard to see myself as an artist once I had children. I lost my sense of “self” and status alarmingly quickly’. 

The Timed Drawings – six sketchbooks of drawings – were Baker’s sole output during this extended ‘hiatus’, but in volume and detail they are prolific and extensive. Each day, over the course of one year, Baker faithfully made a single drawing, which she dated and timed and which capture the joys as well as the increasing number of lows of being a mother and housewife who is determined to continue working creatively. 

Writing about this work for Baker's solo exhibition at La Casa Encendida, curator Clara Zarza notes ‘The series illustrates the particular gaze that characterises Baker’s work, with its focus on seemingly insignificant details and the desire to show things that shouldn’t be shown ... The Timed Drawings do not narrate great events or construct a story, but instead focus on minute details, like the ingredients of a meal, a moment of celebration or the joys discovered in a kebab or cup of tea, but also the disappointment at the taste of a stew that has taken great effort to prepare’.

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