Vanessa Baird: In Conversation

Vanessa Baird: In Conversation

Online talk, Monday 15 March 2021

To coincide with her first UK survey, If ever there were an end to a story that had no beginning, Vanessa Baird discussed the themes in her work and making of the exhibition with its curators, Mary Doyle, Co-Director of Drawing Room, and Gillian Fox, Independent Curator and Assistant Curator at Hayward Gallery Touring.

This exhibition, the artist’s first solo in the UK, introduces Baird’s new works made in pastel and watercolour, ranging from an immense wall size seascape to intimate self-portraits that draw on a wide range of references from her own lived experiences, as well as from Scandinavian folklore and literature.

Vanessa Baird (b. 1963, Oslo) lives and works in Oslo. She is a winner of the prestigious Lorck Schive Art Award (2015), Norway’s most prominent award for artists living and working in Norway. She is a collaborator of acclaimed Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård, illustrating his novel, Om høsten (Autumn) in 2015. Together with colleague Mette Hellenes, Baird also runs the independent press Brunt hull. In November 2017, Baird opened the solo exhibition You are something else at Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, which became one of the institutions most visited exhibitions and was hailed by critics and curators as one of the most important in recent Norwegian art history.

Baird was educated at the National Academy of Arts, Oslo, Norway, and the Royal College of Art, London. Solo exhibitions include: The National Museum of Art, Oslo; Göteborg Konstmuseum, Gotehnburg; Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand; Stenersenmuseet, Oslo and Lillehammer Kunstmuseum, Lillehammer. She has published three books: Red Herring (2016), Brothers Grimm’s, Ulven og Reven, (2013), and You can’t keep a good rabbit down (2009), all on No Comprendo Press, Oslo. Baird is represented in key public collections and with several permanent commissions in public spaces; among others at Sentralen in Oslo (2016) and the new governmental quarters in Oslo (2010-2013). Recent solo exhibitions include:  Lorck Schive Art Award Trondheim (2015), Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2017), OSL contemporary, Oslo (2018), KODE in Bergen (2019), and she was part of the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2019 in Kerala, India, curated by Anita Dube.

Vanessa BairdSociety and Art (detail)Courtesy the artist and OSL 2019