The rather tortured word-play of "thera-pea" is worth it, trust us. We've got an extraordinary event for your diaries and all will become clear...
Bobby Baker is an artist who has been bringing the mundane and the ordinary such as housework and healthcare into the world of art and performance for the last three decades, using food as her media and live presentation as the way to communicate. This means dancing with meringue ladies, the history of modern art recreated in sugar and most recently, an autobiographical durational performance called Ballistic Buns. This short work had her throwing buns at the audience for 3.47 minutes while footage of WWI bombs played in the background to the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain's version of the Dambusters theme tune.
How To Live was presented as a performance in 2004 after two years as an experiment and investigation into how the mind works. A frozen pea is Baker's patient in the performance and is the recipient of advice and guidance on how to live; as Baker's comic but carefully considered session unfolds, the pea begins to defrost and becomes an entirely different legume, ready to live more appropriately.
While it all sounds highly whimsical and odd, the development of this work was in conjunction with psychologist Dr Richard Hallam and had the support of a SciArt research grant and then later a production grant awarded by the Wellcome Trust. This performance has toured continuously, to medical centres, art venues, festivals and around the world. It is clearly worth seeing to believe it and may well hold the key to that most perplexing of questions: how to live?
As a retrospective publication on Bobby Baker's career is being prepared for an autumn launch, How To Live will be performed for a limited period at the Wellcome Trust. Book now, take notes and give peas a chance. Therapy can't come any more highly recommended.
How To Live by Bobby Baker, Thursday 20 September, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September at the Wellcome Trust. For more information and to book tickets, go to the Wellcome Trust website here.