Organ Thing of the Day? Sometimes the thing is a band or a piece of music, some days an art show or a piece of art or? Today we have a question, and the question is, who is Cecily Baker?
Who is Cecily Baker? Is she a performance artist? A painter? A writer? An activist? A mother? Does she really exist? I don’t really know? Who is Cecily Baker? Whoever she is, she’s a ball of colour, she oozes life, she’s defiantly upbeat, a beautiful inspiration. She has a book out right now, a novel called Putting Back Together The Pieces You Broke, she’s LGTB campaigner, a feminist, she talks of standing for parliament, she talks of being positive, she’s loud and proud, she has so much energy. Her first book seems like it might just be a cathartic thing, something she really needed to do once those jump leads I asked her about had been used to kick-start the next part of her life, her new life. The first book is out, and it kind of looks like her creativity can really flow.
“Putting Back Together The Pieces You Broke is an urban allegory. Beginning in the 1980’s and describing one woman’s journey to an epiphany. Putting Back Together The Pieces You Broke is the starting point, now the author can move on”.
“A clever twist on Twelfth Night, the author fuses the first and third person and explores a new and contemporary style. This is the first in a series of three books. The autobiography is dramatized in parts and the “you” is generic, exploring all the people who have hurt her. In short, never hurt an author. You might find yourself in a book….”
So let’s ask her, who is Cecily Baker?
Cecily Baker is a pen name I used because my first novel is an autobiography and contains sensitive topics. As a mum of four, I did not want my children too exposed to my previous sex life. She is now a kind of alter ego, but I would say her characteristics have morphed into my own. She is me on a “berroca” day.. When I had completed my first novel, I knew it was time to use social media but when I googled Deborah Hodge, lots of bears came up. Literally. A children’s author in Canada dominates the Internet. Cecily derived from Oscar Wilde’s “Importance of Being Earnest”. Cecily Cardrew is a smart, persistent woman who escapes jail. The play is also suitable for the persona I created because it is a farcical comedy where a fictitious persona is maintained to escape boring social obligations. In my past life I was a Deputy Headteacher and although taught art and photography for many years, I needed to break free from that identity. Baker simply links to Sherlock and Baker Street is Quintessentially British.
What is the book about?
“Putting Back Together The Pieces You Broke” is a dramatised autobiography. The “you” is generic and in turn examines and puts to rest people who have hurt me in the past. It is a catharsis and in my own admittance a “verbal vomit” as I needed to get this out of my system and overcome bad things in my past. There are essences of Shakespeare’s Twelfth night and the time frame of the novel is akin to the “period of misrule” in this play. Viola and Olivia are taken from Olivia and Sebastian who are twins In the play, but I used viola as we are meant to represent the same person. I infuse poetry to work through some of the toughest memories but if you have a dark sense of humour like me, you will laugh out loud at the sheer audacity. I have used some real emails and letters too as one of my favourite novels is “the colour Purple ” by Alice walker. During writing the novel, I had quite a few epiphanies, one of the biggest is that I was in a self-induced consumerist coma for 41 years, and the other is that I am a raving feminist. No one will ever hurt me again and I found the biggest love of my life staring right back at me from the eyes of my four children. We had to move back to south London to escape a raving lunatic who was sectioned and his family and my traumatised children needed me at home. So instead of sitting on my bottom doing nothing, I have been sitting on my bottom writing. My efforts are all to buy my house “Norman” so my children can have a forever home…
And the forthcoming launch?
Although I have had the book available on Amazon since April, I wanted to mark an official launch. It is at Slade Green Library, in Erith on the 19th July. The launch is incredibly unusual. Nothing like this has happened before. As I am also an artist, I am literally bringing to life one of the chapters called “people who have Nonced me” The launch features a large body of work that I have undertaken over this last year. The work comprises of different sections. The first is a look at what would happen in the event of a nuclear blast. Growing up in the 1980’s, we were constantly under the threat of a nuclear attack. The government gave us placebo’s and I even remember us stockpiling and having a door ready to place against a wall for protection. This theme continues as I explore further how we are blinded by consumerism and spoon fed what we are supposed to accept. I use Richard Branson as a christ like motif in the next section. This explores what we now worship. I also draw attention to important messages such as pollution and world peace. The work varies significantly in styles. I explore photography, graffiti, mixed media and even sculpture. It is literally an explosion mirroring my own explosion into “life” after my consumerist coma. In another section I explore the meaning of life. In my case it is my four children. I have painted them many times and explores portraiture and mixed medias to capture their personalities. As the novel and the installation also marks a huge rite of passage into me being a new and different person, I also explore this further by bringing the characters to life. I will be undertaking performance art on the day and I also have writers, actors, singers and performers bringing he essence of my work to life. They will be reading my own and their poetry and most importantly: staying in character for the whole period of the 2.5 hour show. The event is being filmed and photographed and then this will be edited into a documentary. After 5.00pm the exhibition comes down.
And while Cecily is busy launching her already published first book, performing, painting (being a very busy mother), she’s also at work on a second book called #Jigsaws, here’s something she published on YouTube last month. (seems Cecily likes pegs, colourful ones of course)
Here’s something Cecily said (on YouTube) about that rather energetic video back at the end of June –
“#behappyinyourskin Why are the media telling us what we should look like? Why do we feel self-conscious if we are not a #perfect10? #JIGSAWS is the sequel to “Putting back together the pieces you Broke”. #JIGSAWS is a collection of true stories. The characters are an array of black, white, gay, straight, men, women, trans and even people who just like dressing as the opposite sex at the weekends. Religion and culture are explored and all characters have this in common: they are learning to love themselves after overcoming adversity. You know what? We are all the same inside. Get over it! This film features boobs… Lovely bouncy folds of skin. The main subject here has had three children. Cecily Baker features too and she has had four: Loud and proud. It’s guys who sexualised our titties so just sit back and enjoy. Equality is the deep core message driving all the work. And world peace of course xxx”
And…. Could Richard Branson have been our saviour?
“A story of the aftermath of global warming. A portrayal of how one legacy and the pursuit of wealth above everything, even for a seemingly good cause : your family; can have disastrous effects. Pollution, mass farming and the huge divide between rich and poor. The poem is set in the future. Who can help us? Could Richard Branson have been our saviour?”
And…. back on April 12, she posted this one…. shocking stunts ?
Things are reaching boiling point. The Green Party are doing nothing about the planet it seems. They are too insipid. MA’AT and Cecily baker are enraged and want to take things further. Hacking and shocking stunts seem the only way people will listen.
So who is Cecily Baker? Still not sure who she is? I rather like the bits I’ve discovered so far? She could be you, she might be me, she could be all of us? I’d like to think there’s a little bit of Cecily Baker trying to break out of all of us? I think we need to ask her some more questions, I like Cecily Baker, think we might ask her a few more questions…. what about those pegs?
Its one thing sitting in your living room for a year locked away writing… but another thing entirely to bare your artistic soul. Even a book can simply not be read, but there is no where to hide with art.
The launch for “People Who Have Nonced Me” happens at Slade Green Community Library, Chrome Road, Erith, Kent, DA8 2EL 19th July 2015
CECILY BAKER’S FACEBOOK PAGE