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Living with Wolfie - Tamany Baker, 2007

5 April 2009

The series documents my response to the ‘presents’ that Wolfie, my beloved cat, brings into the home. At first, I experienced some kind of horror: these dead creatures waiting for me in different parts of my house.

Then I looked at Wolfie and tried to understand the instincts which brought them there. After I held the first bird in my hand, instinctively I began to respond to these “presents”, by making a photographic shrine incorporating seasonal flowers or the domestic environment, reminiscent of the way the Victorians used locks of hair and flowers to decorate photographs of deceased loved ones.

The decorating of the remains has become a collaboration between us as I became Wolfie’s accomplice in playing with the dead animals, and my way of accepting his wildness despite the difficulty I have with his habits.

Tamany Baker lives and works in Bristol, UK, sharing time between her art practice, lecturing in photography and commercial work. She is committed to exploring the potential of photography through education and practice, and was recently awarded an MA in documentary photography at the University of Wales, Newport. She has been making photographs for over 25 years.

Since 1983, Tamany has travelled and photographed extensively world-wide. She has also explored her family history in Russia and the Baltics, including her great grandfather who worked as a portrait photographer to the Czar in Byelorussia.

In 2005, she visited Archangel to investigate the disappearance of her Latvian grandfather, presumed arrested by Stalin’s secret police in the 1930’s.

Tamany Baker is one of twelve professional winners in the Sony World Photography Awards 2009 in the Conceptual and Constructed category (Fine Art) for this series of photographs, entitled “Living with Wolfie”. She receives her award in Cannes in mid April and her work will tour in a year-long worldwide exhibition and be published in a book to commemorate the awards.

Photographer since 1983, EPUK member since 2004.

See more work by Tamany Baker

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