STATEMENT   I work with the materials in my local environment, in a manner that I hope will speak recognizably to those in other environments.  My current practice is largely photographic, and is predominantly concerned with how to address the distinctive character and beauty of the woodlands, wetlands and wildlife of rural Norfolk, along with its fine medieval heritage.  Clearly, the question of how to establish the contemporaneity of such a project is something of an issue.  If art “is there to push against the problems of the present” (as Lisa Le Feuvre contends), then my work might be characterized as a purposely critical engagement both with landscape at a time when its relevance is widely questioned, and with beauty as a concern from which most art writing continues to shy away.

BIO   Steve Baker is a Norwich-based artist and writer, affiliated to the University of Central Lancashire as Emeritus Professor of Art History.  He is an artist-member of OUTPOST and of the Norwich 20 Group.  Since 2010 his work has been exhibited in the UK, USA, Australia and Europe, and has featured in two major animal-themed museum shows in Poland and Germany.  In 2017 a two-person exhibition in Norwich led to the publication Steve Baker & Mike Dodd: Trees and Other Objects.  Baker’s academic writings over the past twenty-five years have contributed to the international development of the field of “animal studies” in the arts, humanities and social sciences.  His books include Artist|Animal, The Postmodern Animal and Picturing the Beast.  Selected writings have been translated into French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Italian, Polish and Spanish, and his work is included in Routledge’s Animals and Society: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences, Berg’s The Animals Reader: The Essential Classic and Contemporary Writings, and the Routledge Handbook of Human-Animal Studies.