Brighton-based Lee Baker was our first artist in residency at Metal Peterborough. His work takes the form of painstaking large-format paintings and installations, utilizing vivid color and extreme perspective to ‘build’ meta-cities and architectural environments, often set against a stormy backdrop of ashen clouds, pending night and potential destruction. His fine art practice explores stark visions of the indestructible meta-city against the indiscriminate forces of nature. Drawing on the narrative and scenic elements of films such as Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira, Disney’s Tron, and further exploring the idea of a self-aware ‘thinking’ city, developed in films such as ‘Tekkonkinkreet’ and Makoto Shinkai’s ‘A Place Promised in our Early Years’. His most recent work, investigates the idea of future archeology and mythology, exploring the idea of the projection of history onto megalithic structures such as Stonehenge in England or Ahu Tongariki on Easter Island.
Baker creates his own megaliths, abstracting and simplifying, building constructs and giving them meaning. ‘Refractive Monolith’, for instance, is a three-dimensional reaction to or conversation with Lee Baker’s paintings. Utilizing approximately 10 thousand metres of acrylic yarn, he has ‘drawn’ and occupied the space with this imposing architectural shape, forcing its perspective upon the viewer. As with Baker’s paintings, the joyous colors give a false sense of security while at the same time the full spectrum of laser-like yarn represents the building’s volatile infrastructure and relative weakness. The graded gray walls delineating the building’s silhouette serve to enhance to colours while implying the finality of the structure’s life.
For more information, see Lee Baker’s website.