Bobby Baker's Diary Drawings
19 March 2009 - 2 August 2009
Bobby Baker is one of the most widely acclaimed and popular performance artists working today. She began her diary drawings in 1997 when she became a patient at a day centre. Originally private, they gradually became a way for her to communicate complex thoughts and emotions that are difficult to articulate to her family, friends and professionals.
The drawings cover Bobby's experiences of day hospitals, acute psychiatric wards, 'crisis' teams and a variety of treatments. They chart the ups and downs of her recovery, family life, work as an artist, breast cancer and just how funny all this harrowing stuff can be.
Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me
By Bobby Baker
Winner of the MIND Book of the Year 2011
Bobby Baker is, in her own words, 'a woman and an artist'. But for 11 years, while creating internationally acclaimed performance pieces such as Box Story and How to Live, she also privately battled severe mental illness. These drawings tell the story.
In 1996 the artist Bobby Baker was diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder. Her subsequent struggle to overcome severe mental and later physical illness lasted for 11 years, and was unknown to anyone outside her close family, friends and colleagues. The 158 drawings and watercolours in this book, selected by Bobby from the hundreds more that she created daily as a private way of coming to terms with her experience, are an astonishing record of her slow and harrowing journey to eventual recovery. Moving, startling, shocking and hilarious in turn, these diary drawings reveal the stark realities of living with mental illness and of society's lack of understanding.
With an introductory essay by Marina Warner, and essays by Bobby and by her daughter Dora Whittuck, a qualified clinical psychologist, this book is a rich and rewarding visual experience and a fascinating insight into the interplay between art, mental health and society.
Profile Books, May 2010
16.5 x 22.9 cm