Kate Baker

"AN ALCHEMICAL JOURNEY OF CONNECTION"

KATE BAKER

"Photography is an alchemical journey of connection."
About Kate's

Processes

I work primarily with black and white film and use a range of small, medium and large format cameras. My cameras are all old, some more than 80 years old - they are all my friends.

Photograph of Kate Baker with Bronica
The darkroom

Handcrafted gelatin silver prints are made (by me) in my darkroom in Warburton in the beautiful Yarra Valley. Fresh mountain rain water is used in my processing of both film and paper photographs. Working in the darkroom is like being in a temple to me, it's a hallowed space and I lose all sense of time and space other than the immediate moment while I am in there. There is nowhere near the range of photographic papers available as there used to be however I use a beautiful high-silver-content paper from the Czech Republic - everything about this paper makes me happy including its occasional variances between batches.

it's a process that's worth taking time over

Paper is delicate and so it takes a lot of care and focus to make sure each photograph is created with a long archival future in mind. There are so many parts to the process it is easy to get a long way down the road and then decide it isn’t good enough! Often I will spend a whole day in the darkroom to get a print that is ‘just right’… which is a joy as I love it but definitely a little heartbreaking if later I decide it’s not going to get to the final stage of sharing it with the world!

preparing for presentation

Once a photograph 'passes the gate' I like to mount it in a beautiful high quality archival museum board (warm white). This way the artwork is presented the way I want it to be seen and I know the materials are high quality which helps it last the test of time. Plus I know it will look good in a frame. Photographs that have been made using good processes and stored in archival quality materials can easily last over 100 years - I always make my work imagining someone might see it many years in the future!

A little visual

A little visual shows what it takes to make a Silver Gelatin photograph - and this is just the darkroom printing part… there are many steps both before and after this!

Feedback from others

★★★★★

'The Marshes' (inspired by
Lord Dunsanay’s The Kith of the Elf Folk) – I loved this picture so much I ordered the book of the story to dive into the image even deeper. Kate you have captured the wonder of the transformative power of myth so beautifully...

maddockdakini

Insta 26/6/2023

★★★★★

Your talent is amazing! I keep reinvisaging those wonderful images, so full of grace, imagery and a sense of ethereal mystery. They almost spin out of the moment before into the moment after from the moment captured.

Maggie S

Wesburn, Australia

★★★★★

The images come across as raw and elicit an emotional response... I definitely felt a sense of connection to the photographs - whether it was because I myself am a dancer is irrelevant. In my eyes, Baker has succeeded in portraying the poetry and emotion of Venettia Miller's body and movement vocabulary. (exhibition 'La Poesia della Danza'

Weekend Notes

Sydney, Australia

★★★★★

“In an era awash with celebrity portraiture and counterfeit fame, I found it reassuring to find a photographer honestly drawn to documenting the less fortunate - for the best reasons....” 

“...I was pleasantly surprised by the intimacy reflected in the extended moments in which Baker captures her subjects. Owen, 18, Nowra reminded me briefly of Melbourne photojournalist Jesse Marlow's Wounded observations. This picture also evoked briefly the vulnerability captured in Matthew Brady's timeless portrait of a Lincoln assassination conspirator, Lewis Pine.” 

(about the exhibition 'Unseen Hopes & Dreams' with collection 'Oasis')

Robert McFarlane, photography critic

Sydney Morning Herald

★★★★★

“I really didn’t expect to be quite as moved and inspired as I was upon viewing the images...” 

“...I think it was the combination of seeing the intensity and “realness” of their gaze staring back at me and reading the brief snippets of the events of their lives that had led them to that point, that really moved me - even to tears.”

(reviewing exhibition 'Unseen Hopes & Dreams' re collection 'Oasis')

Elle McCarthy

Propelle Agency, Sydney Australia

★★★★★

"... It's a sort of approach towards the capital-R Romantic capital-S Sublime, this treatment of movement as an act of meaning-making and the suggestion of different forms of expression as different creative languages, different ways of developing and communicating with the world in and through “pure moments of joy,” as Baker calls the moments she attempts to capture. The individual act is abstracted into universality, a being more than a seeing."

(about exhibition'La Poesia della Danza')

Drum Media

Sydney Australia

★★★★★

"Too beautiful for words...this is a magnificent experience..."

(about exhibition Breathing Stories | The Tower)

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Education and Awards

  • 2023 Women Only - Johanna Breede PHOTOKUNST Berlin
  • 2023 Fantasy Faeries & Myths - YAVA Gallery (group)
  • 2022 Works on Paper - YAVA Gallery (group)
  • 2021 The Tower - Warburton Waterwheel Gallery (solo)
  • 2021 The Dance - Yering Station (solo, paired with Emmy Mavroidis, sculptor)
  • 2019 Face to Face - YAVA Gallery (group)
  • 2018 Evocation - Warburton Waterwheel Gallery (solo)
  • 2016 Nijinsky and the Ecstasy of the Divine - Arts Centre Melbourne (solo)
  • 2015 Dances with Lyrebirds - Burrinja Gallery, Upwey, then Healesville Memo
  • 2015 Leap and Pause - MARS Gallery, Melbourne (solo)
  • 2015 Das Fenster - Johanna Breede, Photokunst, Berlin, Germany (group)
  • 2013 Frauen / Women - Johanna Breede Photokunst, Berlin, Germany (group)
  • 2013 Kate Baker Selected Works, Light Factory Gallery, Melbourne (solo)
  • 2012 Coonara Collective, Point Light Gallery, Sydney (group)
  • 2012 La Poesia della Danza, Harrison Galleries, Sydney Australia (solo)
  • 2009 Australiana, Meyer Gallery, Sydney (group exhibition)
  • 2008 Unseen – Hopes and Dreams, Meyer Gallery, Sydney. (solo exhibition)
  • 2008 Finalist, The Olive Cotton Award, Tweed River Art Gallery, NSW (exhibition)
  • 2015 Paper Sea Quarterly (Australia) : Issue 9 - feature article
  • 2014 Looking Glass Magazine USA ‘The Ethereal and the Sublime’ - cover + pages 4-43
  • 2008 Fridays at Oasis - Hardcover publication, 47 duotone images ISBN 9780646493787
  • 2019 Perpetual Trustees - funding for project “Inspired by Myths and Fairytales”
  • 2018 Shire of Yarra Ranges - Arts & Heritage Grant - Seen and Heard Boy to Man
  • 2017 Creative Victoria and Shire of Yarra Ranges - Liminal
  • 2017 Shire of Yarra Ranges - Arts & Heritage Grant - Seen and Heard - Boy to Man
  • 2016/17 RACV Community grant - Seen and Heard - Boy to Man
  • 2015 Shire of Yarra Ranges Arts & Heritage Grant - Dances with Lyrebirds

Johanna Breede Photokunst - Berlin

http://www.johanna-breede.de

Sometimes I open my studio to visitors - if you would like to visit, please let me know your email in the link below and I will let you know opening dates. If you have a particular artwork you'd like to see in person before you buy it, feel free to email me directly HERE

Photograph of Kate Baker with Bronica

Get in touch

I'd love to hear from you if you are interested in a particular work or series of works. Or to visit my studio.

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