Warships and warplanes, but not as you’ve ever seen them before. Artist Louise Baker has gathered a small armada of her tin-plate ships and gossamer thin copper wire aircraft for an exhibition entitled VESSELS OF TIN CONSTRUCTION, GHOST PLANES & THE BOYS at The Old Brick Workshop in Poole.
“When I analyse it I suppose I do come from a military family. Both my grandfathers were in the Royal Navy and various uncles and cousins served in different conflicts,” said Louise. Her grown-up daughter was a RN nurse for 12 years, including a spell at the major hospital set up for military casualties in Afghanistan.
However, Louise’s creations seem anything but warlike. The shiny mixtures of tinplate and solder on the ships is offset by roughly carved wooden pegs for gun turrets and masts. Several of the bigger pieces, aircraft carriers and battleships, are mounted on rough-hewn wooden trolleys. The whole effect is playful rather than threatening.
“This group of work has evolved over the last 15 years but is still not fully resolved,” said Louise. “The exhibition is not overtly political, not trying to defined the rights and wrongs of it, just that it happened and that the effects of these conflicts will reverberate for a long time.”
The walls of the exhibition are hung with a different genre of Louise’s work; beautifully shaped images of helicopters and jeeps stitched on to heavy paper. The whole show is enormously varied and leaves a very profound impact and memory with the visitor. The exhibition is open 11am-6pm until November 18th.