Spotlight Contemporary artist Lydia Baker
Wilder Gallery founder Michelle Lee Medjeral-Thomas says: “I’m incredibly excited and privileged to be working with Lydia and look forward to showcasing her stunning works at the London Art Fair. I first came across Lydia’s work online. In particular, a piece called ‘Navel’ (2022, 18 x 14 inches, coloured pencil and wax pastel on paper) caught my eye. I was instantly drawn to it and it lingered in my mind, forcing me to repeatedly revisit the image. For me, this piece had such an alluring and beautiful balance of colour and composition. I was simultaneously drawn to the simplicity of form but also the intensity of detail and the build-up of mark-making. It all happened pretty quickly, I contacted Lydia in early November and within days we were discussing bringing her work over for the London Art Fair in January and a group show at the gallery later in 2023.”
Medjeral-Thomas adds: “Lydia’s dreamscapes are beautifully poetic and confident and are women-centred environments where fantasy, the spiritual and anatomy intermingle. A tremendous amount of labour-intensive mark-making and layering of colour creates the most arresting ‘glow’ to the works. I’m very much drawn to traditional mediums such as painting and, in this case, works on paper, where artists are interpreting their chosen medium in very unique and contemporary ways and where artists are challenging expectations and expanding dialogues of what their medium can deliver. Colour pencil has associations with childhood and drawing and there is a beautiful tenderness to this which Lydia then builds upon with her own experience of living within a female body and interpretations of cycles of time and change. The undeniable intimacy and otherworldliness of Lydia’s world intrigues, awes and haunts me.”
You can experience Lydia’s world for yourself at London Art Fair at Wilder Gallery’s Stand P13, and in the group show ‘A Suitable Accomplishment’ at Trotter & Sholer in New York from January 14.
About the champion
Michelle Lee Medjeral-Thomas didn’t waste her lockdown on making banana bread but instead launched the Wilder Gallery, which opened its doors to its Kensal Rise, London exhibition space in April 2021. Drawing on her more than 10 years of industry experience, the gallery is dedicated to championing early career and female artists, as well as raising money for great causes including The Trussell Trust, Cancer Research UK, and Mind.