Holloway artist Bobby Bakers wins Mind Book of Year Award

A unique performance artist who documented her battle with mental health problems in a series of illustrations has won a national award.

Bobby Baker, of George’s Road, Holloway, gained the prestigious Book of the Year Award from mental health charity Mind.

Diary Drawings comprises 158 images and written extracts which detail her difficult journey to recovery after she was diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder in 1996.

One of the judges of the Mind competition, novelist Fay Weldon, said: “She’s such an energetic and lively person and this just shows through in her honest view of herself and people around her. You can’t help but respond to it.”

Ms Baker, 62, said: “I can’t imagine anything I’d be more proud to win in my whole life.

“It means an awful lot to people like me who’ve had experience of mental illness and for my family too.”

After being diagnosed, Ms Baker attended the Pine Street Day Centre in Pine Street, Clerkenwell, and started to draw and paint every day to communicate her emotions.After 11 years, she had produced 711 drawings and, in this period, also beat breast cancer.

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Ms Baker still supports the Drayton Park Women’s Crisis Centre in Islington where she once stayed.

Her new show Mad Gyms and Kitchens starts in October.