Women’s Work was created with a pinhole camera made from a recipe box and altered cookbooks. This object was chosen to create the pinhole camera because my mother uses the same box for her sewing supplies. I used the pinhole camera to photograph the quilt my maternal grandmother made for me. The overall project consists of image transfers of quilt squares, recipes in my mother and maternal grandmother’s handwriting, and images from the cookbooks themselves. Many of the cookbooks were purchased from second-hand stores, but four of them were from my paternal grandmother. I am intrigued by female lineage and what we pass down from generation to generation through the females in our family.
Deedra Baker 2015
This project explores notions of innocence and coming of age through the photographing of a preteen. My niece is photographed to symbolize my personal experiences, as well as to provide a universal character for all females who have and will experience the transformation of self through puberty.
Feelings of displacement and quiet struggles permeate my adult life. Through a rural, sheltered upbringing there was a frequent battle between innocence and reality. This body of work explores the loss of innocence through the depiction of an adolescent sitter. She stands in as a metaphor for myself, an anxiety-filled child and adult. The photographs are made on my parents’ property in rural Kansas and depict experiences, memories, and symbolic truths.
Deedra Baker 2014
This project originates from one’s curiosity in regards to female identity as it is constructed from family origins, self, and society’s perception. Through the use of appropriated family album photographs, familial objects, and self-portraits, the project brings together a myriad of imagery, which depicts and / or symbolizes female identity through the lens of family, self, and society. The collage style imagery lends itself to the feelings of confusion, while one grapples with said construction of female identity and its influential sources.
Deedra Baker 2014
As the end of my first semester as a photography graduate student at Texas Woman’s University comes to an end, I have a new body of work I would like to share. The work is titled The Pattern Lolls. Please see below to view my artist statement and select images from the series.
The Pattern Lolls
Identity is constructed and revealed through one’s social connections and is an existential absolute. The Pattern Lolls uses photography to explore themes of female identity and sexuality through the genre of self-portraiture. It takes a close look at the feminine character and sensuality as they are constructed and manipulated by relationships, self, and society.
This series stems from the feelings of displacement as a woman in her mid-twenties. As one grows into adulthood, one embarks on an independent journey of self-acceptance and understanding, thus concerns and questions regarding identity and self are ever-present. Expressions of muliebrity are used to challenge the innate female capacity for dependence, empathy, and nurturance. The Pattern Lolls explores notions of fragility, hesitancy, and sensitive intensity through staged, articulated images.
Deedra Baker 2013
The west window in my bedroom springs to life when the sun’s afternoon glow bathes through its panes. Colors on my quilt become vivid, while the pale walls begin to dance with undulating shadows. The sun transforms mauve carpets and white walls into animated surfaces. This, my sanctuary, becomes an oasis.
I become a recluse in my bedroom and find the silence and solitude of my 9’ by 13’ space satisfying and tantalizing. The room provides comfort; it is an area to call my very own. Peace and quiet abounds, allowing me to ponder extraordinary dreams and life ambitions. The light, which gracefully illuminates my quiet bedroom corner, provides a mere glimmer of outside hope. It becomes a distraction from my self-admitted isolation.
I turn the camera inward as I photograph the idiosyncratic nuances of my surroundings. This microcosm provides a space in which I can undress myself emotionally and physically. In making these photographs, I indulge in a reflective self-awareness.
My Mother’s Necklace
A Vestige of Hair
That Which Remains
Deedra Baker 2013