Deedra Baker was born in El Dorado, KS in 1989. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2011, from Washburn University in Topeka, KS and her Master of Fine Arts with a photography concentration and intermedia secondary concentration at Texas Woman’s University in 2016.
Her creative work explores themes of femininity, gender roles, personal and psychological spaces, and self-identity. Throughout her oeuvre, Deedra has explored various media, such as photography, video, printing processes, bookmaking, and works on paper. Currently, her research, Ties That Bind, investigates the lineage of the feminine and explores the nexus of her family through three generations of females.
Deedra currently lives in Fort Worth, TX where she is Associate Faculty [Non-Tenure Track] at Collin College teaching studio photography and the history of photography. She is the Program Director at Art Room, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to educate, inspire, and support underrepresented youth and adult artists in the Fort Worth community through a sustainable, programmatic offering of arts education.
Ties that Bind
Through portraits, environmental still life and landscapes, this series examines the interconnectedness between my mother, three sisters, two nieces, and myself. As an extension of the traditional family archive of snap shots, Ties That Bind uses color photographs, video, and a one-of-a-kind artist’s book to explore the relationships between the women by examining family traditions, rituals, and the connection to a homeplace—the central or family home.
Ties That Bind examines ways that our identities interweave and manifest as a result of experiences together at our family home in rural Kansas. Inspired by Patricia Kline’s statement that “For most of us our identities are very much tied to where we grew up,” environmental still life and landscape images made within my family’s house and land reflect the visceral connection between the females and the land, home, and familial keepsakes and objects.
Intimate portraits capture the emotional, experiential, and physical bond found between we women. In her curatorial statement Not My Family Values, Dr. Rebecca Senf states, “Family is at the heart of how we identify ourselves.”
For the females within my immediate family and myself, the experiential and historical bond centered around the idea of a homeplace (and the belief that family traditions can only occur in that place, while among family and its keepsakes) greatly in influences and informs our identities. Ties That Bind explores this idea through a visual investigation of we women in the family, objects within the house, the surrounding land, and family archives and traditions.