Holloway performance artist shortlisted for prestigious book award

A performer from Holloway who spent more than a decade compiling works portraying life with mental-illness has been recognised by a major charity.

Bobby Baker, 60, who lives in Georges Road, Holloway, has written the book Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me, which has been shortlisted for Mind’s Book of the Year Award 2011.

The book comprises of 158 drawings detailing her difficult journey to recovery after she was diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder in 1996.

Mrs Baker, who is a prominent UK performance artist, expressed her happiness at the nomination.

She said: “I’m delighted. It’s probably the most significant thing that has happened to me, I’ve not been so pleased about anything”

The coveted charity award, now in its 30th year, was set up to celebrate works that increase understanding of mental health problems amongst the general public.

However Mrs Baker who spent time at the Drayton Park Women’s Crisis Centre in Islington was keen to stress the stigmatism that is still attached to mental illness.

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She said: “The problem is that there is an assumption that once diagnosed you cannot get better and that is simply not true.”

“It is also something that is incredibly common as well, the fact that one in four people will experience mental illness at some point just goes to show how normal it is today.”

The winner of the competition will be announced at the end of July. Mrs Baker will tour the UK this summer with her new show Mad Gyms and Kitchens which comes to London in October.