In the series ”Don’t Feed the Animals” Lina Baker questions identity – seen not only through the eyes of the child, but maybe and even more so, of the parent and other adults. Lina’s work is influenced by a cartoon drawing of animals – turtles, monkeys and elephants – all vying for the attention of the headmaster judging their individual merits based on who can climb the tree fastest. Another crucial influence is turn of the century photographic portraits of children in various tones of black and white – postcards sent from Brussels, France and Germany. These miniature documentations of posing children in a strictly controlled environment form the basis of Lina’s work with pencil, coal, ink and aquarelle.
”Children are wide open for exposure – in school, among their peer groups and within the family. Children need to be children, feeling secure in their parents’ love. Today we constantly live with a bad conscience because we feel we do not do enough, when all they really need from us is to spend time with them, give them confidence to face the world on their own.
Animals have always been used as epithets to describe people and their personalities. Much is left to the public to interpret my images, but only by allowing yourself the time to engage do you really begin to get to know and understand these creatures.”