East London artist Bobby Baker awarded funding for Cultural Olympiad

An East London-based artist has been awarded �47,650 to create a touring project as part of the UK’s Cultural Olympiad.

Bobby Baker and her Daily Life disability charity, which is based in Commercial Road, are one of 13 arts groups across the UK to be awarded a total fund of �820,000.

Projects including dance, visual arts and theatre will combine to form the Unlimited programme, a celebration of arts and culture by disabled and deaf artists, in the build-up to and during next year’s London Olympics.

The 13 commissions were announced by the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the UK Arts Councils and the British Council and are largely funded by the National Lottery.

Though her artwork is still at the planning stage, Ms Baker’s installation is called Mad Gyms and Kitchens and will be based on her own experience recovering from serious physical and mental illness.

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She will use “fantastical wellbeing equipment” built with sculptor Charlie Whittuck “which unfolds into an intricately crafted, mechanical installation” and the project will tour London and the UK.

She said: “This funding gives me the remarkable opportunity to make a neat, but spectacular and sophisticated show.”

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An Arts Council UK spokeswoman said some of the commissions could form part of the London 2012 festival which will run from June to September next year and the opening and closing Olympic ceremonies.

Another London group, The Candoco Dance Company based in Islington, was also awarded funding.

Last year, Ms Baker released a book called ‘Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me’, a record of her recovery from severe depression and breast cancer.

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