Liam Ross Baker is an emerging artist based in nipaluna / Hobart. Baker’s practice critiques aspects of Australian culture through large scale portraits and still life interpretations. Contrasting thin glazes and washes with dabs of colourful, thicky applied oil paint, Baker’s work reveals the uncanny nature of the familiar, capturing a sense of unease that reflects on broader social anxieties.
Within each work, Baker draws on multiple dualities to emphasise the conflicted nature of his subjects. This includes combining the observed and the imagined, through monochromatic compositions that are selectively adorned with rich colour. More than just aesthetic embellishment, this technique helps to differentiate between the veneer of representation and the tangible nature of paint itself. Baker also demonstrates a degree of irony with his work, placing party hats, Hawaiian shirts and dabs of face paint on translucent, expressionless figures who seem on the verge of fading away. However, this dry humour masks a more considered enquiry into the complicated historical legacy of colonisation, and how personal experiences help to inform a sense of place. Driven by moral observations of contemporary Australia, painting provides Baker a freedom to investigate our cultural relationships and challenge how we see and make sense of the world.
Liam Ross Baker completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of Tasmania in 2021, exhibiting in numerous group shows since. In 2021, Baker undertook a residency at the Henry Jones Art Hotel after taking out the packing room prize, as a finalist in the Henry Jones Art Prize. He was also selected as the people choice at the Tidal Art Award in 2023.