Approved: 09.07.2012

Alan Baker

Artist, Maker

Approved: 09.07.2012

My main area of interest has been the issues surrounding the relationships between humans and animals. In my recent practice I have been exploring the idea of the animal as practitioner and how different species might shape, frame and make space in our everyday urban environments through methods of sculpture and drawing.

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Biography

My main area of interest has been the issues surrounding the relationships between humans and animals. In my recent practice I have been exploring the idea of the animal as practitioner and how different species might shape, frame and make space in our everyday urban environments through methods of sculpture and drawing.

As human beings we believe that our urban environments are ours, but actually, these spaces are a much more complex environment involving many species whether they are domestic, wild or farmed for their produce, most of them contributing to our own survival, but when does a wild animal like a rabbit or a bird for example become domesticated? My practice has not only aimed on exploring these issues, but has also examined our own human Fragility, by creating sculptures that are not only works of art but are also spaces for an encounter between species.

As apart of this project I have been exploring the term ‘Vermin culture’. This term is given to various species of animal, which are considered a nuisance or a ‘pest’. This inspired me to produce a number of sculptures made from a variety of found objects that I placed in a deranged manner to give the illusion of an unstable structure that could trap or snare an animal. From These sculptural spaces, I have used traditional drawing techniques with a contemporary aesthetic to document and record these temporary structural forms.  “To consider the boundaries of what it means to be human rather than animal”(O’Reilly,2009,p.149.) is a quote I have used as a guiding principle in my work to address questions about the residual traces left by animals, looking at the spaces animals inhabit and turning them into sculptural forms.

CV & Education

Education

2012-2013    MA Fine Art, Manchester Metropolitan University

2009-2012    BA (Hons) Contemporary Art, University of                                                      Huddersfield (1st class degree)

2008-2009    Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Telford College of

                       Art and Technology (Distinction)

2006-2008    BTEC Art and Design, Telford College (Distinction)

2005-2006    Foundation Degree in Art and Design, Telford Collage of

                       Art and Technology.  (Distinction)

?Grants and Awards

2016             GM Arts Prize, Elliot House, Manchester (Shortlisted)

2014             The Great Art Award, Nottingham Castle Open, Nottingham

?Exhibitions and Festivals

2017             Trap and Snare, Solo Exhibition, Blackpool and The Flyde                           College, Blackpool.

2016             UKYA Festival, Derby.

2016             private:PUBLIC,  35 Chapel Walk, Sheffield

2016             Greater Manchester Art Prize, Elliot House, Deansgate,

                      Manchester.

2016             Waterside open, Waterside Art Centre, 1 Waterside Plaza,

                      Sale.

2015             Outside The Box, 6 George Street, Altrincham.

2015             Bankley Open Exhibition, Bankley Street, Levenhulme,

                      Manchester.

2015             Shelf Life, PS Mirabel, 14 - 20 Mirabel Street, Manchester.

2015             Neo: art prize, neo:gallery22, The Market Place, Bolton.

2015             Altrincham Open Exhibition, 82-84 George St, Altrincham .

2014             Nottingham Castle Open Exhibition, Nottingham Castle,

                      Casple PI, Nottingham.

2014             Everyday Illusions, PAPER Gallery, 14 - 20 Mirabel Street,

                      Manchester.

2014             The Granary Art Gallery, Weston Park, Weston-under-

                      Lizard, Shifnal.

2013             What? Now!, Manchester Metropolitan University School of

                      Art, Manchester.

2012             Oil, Grease and Rubber, Unit 4B Piccadilly Place,

                      Manchester. 

2012             This is how you stand correctly, Vyner Street Gallery, Vyner

                      Street, London. 

2012             This is how you stand correctly, University of Huddersfield,

                      Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

2011             I Presume, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, West

                      Yorkshire Degree shows. 

?Publications

2015             Outside the Box Exhibition Catalogue

2015             Neo:Art prize Exhibition Catalogue

2012             How you stand correctly, Exhibition Catalogue

?Others

2015             Roller Gallery Online Exhibition, Cheltenham Mount, Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

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