Artist in Residence: Daniel Baker

Lyrical Revolutions: William Morris meets Skepta?

November 2016 - March 2017

Daniel Baker has been selected from 120 applications to become the William Morris Gallery's fourth artist in residence, 2016-17. 

Baker will produce new sound and performance works inspired by connections between William Morris’s political poetry and the lyrics of Grime artists such as Skepta and Stormzy. Throughout the residency, titled Lyrical Revolutions, Baker will explore the power and potential of the human voice.

There are fascinating parallels between Morris's work and Grime. Morris’s poetry often expresses a commitment to social change, as he imagines a new society that will free the ‘working man’ from misery and poverty. Grime emerged from London’s housing estates: particularly in Waltham Forest, but is now a global phenomenon with Skepta recently winning the Mercury Music Prize. Like Morris, many Grime artists use songwriting as a way of expressing their anger about poverty and racism and articulating visions for social change.

(Daniel Baker, 2016)

The public will have the opportunity to explore the themes of the residency through a series of events, including an artist’s talk and practical masterclasses for local young people.

The residency, which is funded by Arts Council England, is open to practising artists from Waltham Forest and the surrounding boroughs and whose work gives a new perspective on Morris’s legacy.

About Daniel Baker

Daniel Baker is an artist, writer and education professional. Between 2008 and 2016 he was Education Director at Cubitt in London where he set up a large-scale programme of activities led by artists at local schools and community centres.  As an artist Baker has worked within different contexts, particularly museums and collections, to develop projects that explore the power of narrative, subjectivity, and the formation of identity. His output includes a series of comics alongside animations, drawings, paintings and installations. He has been commissioned by the Science Museum, National Maritime Museum and the Wellcome Collection, and spoken at conferences and seminars in Egypt, Margate, London and Milwaukee.

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