Drawing on a (Grand) Mother's Experience is an autobiographical performance in which the artist Bobby Baker talks about about her experience as a mother.
Accompanied by Meg Hodgson, the artist illustrates her narrative with an abstract, symbolic painting that she creates by pouring food onto a white sheet. The narrative subverts our idea about the things that merit being recounted to others and those that actually can be recounted, shedding light on the tensions and multiple layers of meaning that are found in details that we either fail to notice or view as secondary. Meanwhile, the actual process of creating this painting (an ironic wink to Jackson Pollock's iconic dripping technique) dramatises the impact that the experience of being a mother and running a home has on the individual and her relationship with the world around her.
The performance is a new take on one of Bobby Baker's most important and acclaimed pieces: Drawing on a Mother’s Experience. The initial piece was first presented in 1988 and was an immediate success. In 2000, after nearly three hundred performances, Baker decided that she would not present it again to audiences. She changed her mind in 2015 as a result of the Women of the World Festival and the realisation that her reflections on the experience of first becoming a mother still resonate today, which prompted her to revisit and update the performance from the privileged prism conferred by age and distance. Drawing on a (Grand) Mother’s Experience therefore offers a dual gaze crafted out of humour, subtlety and a non-conformist mindset.