robyn baker, cairns artist, dogfish, dogface and catty, australian art, tom and aunty, women and dogs, charters towers,

Robyn Baker
Home · Exhibitions · Women and Dogs · Abstracts
Bags · About Robyn Baker · Dogfish · Contact ·


Robyn is based in Cairns Australia. She grew up in historical Charters Towers and has raised 4 handsome boys.

Beattie And The Peeping Tom


Some Rationales for Exhibitions

Dats and Dogs

Sept 2013

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 was great.

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 Dog.

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.


Hey Baby

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 much different.

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 human being



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)

Nature Culture

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 we create.

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 impermanence.

Rutherford Street

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 house.

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.

Women - 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 women.

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 could associate.

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 can cause.

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 questions.