robyn baker, cairns artist, dogfish, dogface
and catty, australian art, tom and aunty, women and dogs, charters
· Women and Dogs
Robyn Baker ·
Robyn is based in Cairns Australia.
She grew up in historical Charters Towers and has raised 4 handsome
And The Peeping Tom
Some Rationales for Exhibitions
I like to paint people, animals
and stories. Sometimes the stories are true and sometimes they
are a figment of my imagination or it can be a story that the
viewer makes up also. Often people find themselves or their family
or their animals in my paintings. I really like that.
Our animals are so important
to us. They make us feel really good and happy. When animals die,
it takes so long to get over their demise. A couple of years ago
our dog, who was a staffie/bully cross called Little Dog, left
us because he was very sick. We had him for eleven years and he
Now we have Daisy and she
has problems. She doesn't like children. Actually she only likes
a few people in our family. I have painted Daisy but never Little
The exhibition is called 'Dats
and dogs' as years ago when I was a little girl and my cousin
Glennys who had a speech impediment was visiting our home she
said 'me like dats and dogs too'. Glennys was one of my Father's
favourite nieces and so for years my Father would say every now
and then when he saw a cat or dog, 'me like dats and dogs too'.
I still say it and then I
think of Glennys. So this exhibition is sort of dedicated to Glenn
who was lovely but married a man call 'Tiger' who was a rotter
but that is another story.
The definition of
the word baby used as a noun means a very young child, or as an
adjective, childish behaviour.
Some time ago, in
the twentieth century, this word metamorphosed into something
How and when this
happened I am unsure, but it is a phenomen that has slipped into
our venacular with submission and without question.
Baby has evolved
from describing something small and helpless to meaning female
The acquisition of Souvenirs
from our environment that is land and sea, for the accumulation
of material objects, for example wooden or coral object d'art,
will eventually result in the destruction of out vital resources.
The effects of global warming
are already apparent.
Eventually, everything will
be totally or partially man-made.
We intend to create man-made
reefs which symbolise this synopsis.
Robyn Baker (Painter)
Shireen Talibudeen (Ceramist)
When I started thinking about
painting my bags for the Nature Culture exhibition, I looked out
the windows of my home.
I was divided from nature
by a single wall. Through the holes in the wall, I gained access
to the culture of nature. This single wall became the symbolic
division between my culture and nature. I am allowed to cross
the divide but I do not reciprocate.
Through these windows and
doors I see butterflies and flowers and birds and snakes and clouds
and rain and trees. I started to think about how we use nature
for our personal pleasure, but we also use nature for political
gain and exploitation. We use nature as symbols for the world
Often that world is detrimental
to that symbol we use to identify our creation.
I have painted doves on my
bags to remind myself that the dove is the symbol of peace, butterflies
- fragile beauty and the one and only lily bag is the symbol of
I grew up in Charters Towers,
in the same house, in Rutherford Street. My Mother was pregnant
with me when the family moved into what had been an old boarding
The house had a landing to
a large kitchen at the back, and many partitions for the many
bedrooms and bats in the ceiling. In the first few years, until
my Father died, the house was renovated. Unfortunately the house
wasn't finished until fifteen years after my father's death. I
loved the old house and still do.
Rutherford Street was interesting
in many ways. There were many beautiful old homes with character
and honest appeal. The most interesting aspect however was the
people. Especially interesting was my family and their relationships
with the rest of the street.
I have painted a few of the
stories which evolved from this interaction. Some of the paintings
are about events not related to the family, but it all happened
in Rutherford Street.
I have tried to paint my feelings
for that time and for this place, which I still refer to as home.
Virago (A female warrior)
These paintings explore the
conflict and friendship between women. I have examined their relationships
from an economic, social, historical and religious perspective.
My paintings are based on
the premise that women have and continue to be dominated by male
ideology, be it in our everyday lives or more hurtfully in places
such as Afghanistan. As this happens many tributaries branch off,
even in the more female dominated areas.
There, women are very often
the instruments of repression against each other as well as having
the opportunity to offer real friendship and support. It is in
these divergent lines of thought that the subjects of my paintings
have surfaced. My paintings investigate how women affect other
These ideas evolved partially
through personal contact and the observation of female acquaintances
and their ill and good effect on each other. My inspiration can
also be attributed to the influence of fiction and non fiction
books by authors such as Patrick White and Sumner Locke-Elliott.
They seemed to write about women from my childhood with whom I
Other influences emerged as
I sat painting every day listening to the female journalists on
Radio National. The plight of the women in detention centers and
the women in Afghanistan were profoundly affecting.
This rationale has not alluded
to the destructive emotional backlash manipulative guilt and love
My paintings do that for me.
Early in 2002 I went to a
Debutante Ball. White looks at the issues raised by the fact that
white traditionally represents the pure and virginal.
I ask myself:. How do I feel
about young women wearing white as debutantes in 2002? Who decides
who the debutantes are going to be? Are these girls lambs to the
slaughter or are they just pretending for a night?
Do these debs measure up to
its historical significance and do they care? Is it just an event?
How serious are the debs?
I feel that my paintings
are exploring these issues and capturing the essence of these