Works by artist Daniel Baker exploring the imagined space occupied by Gypsies. Lookinglass offers a window into this marginal world with works intended as a meditation upon identity and dislocation.
"I am a Gypsy and it is through that lens that I view the world," says Daniel. "My work examines processes of identity and invisibility. The Romany community that I come from has existed in Kent for many generations and represents the largest concentration of Gypsies in England. The stories that my family tell about their lives are spoken in narratives that place them, and our community, outside of a society that we have existed within for hundreds of years â€“ separate from, and at the same time surrounded by, dislocated, yet connected through a dynamic of ambivalence."
"My artworks explore issues of invisibility and ambiguity using painted, etched and gilded glass to produce illuminated mirrored surfaces. Images appear behind the glass but in front of the mirrored background, locating the subject in a liminal or in between space â€“ a space that the Gypsy continues to occupy in the popular imagination. The somewhat obscured nature of the gilded reflection allows the viewer to inhabit the landscape of the work whilst at the same time evading true likeness and recognition. The juxtaposition of highly decorated surfaces - seemingly defaced by graffiti and spattered paint, seeks to explore the dichotomy behind the divided representations of Gypsies and Travellers in popular culture â€“ colourful romantic or filthy menace."