Niamh Bakker

Niamh Bakker's work consists of soft sculpture installation and photography. This installation comprises of an assemblage of individual but related works that explore the duality of meanings that an object can refer to. The artist refers to conversations around labour, craft, the body, and architecture.


The artist work consists of an instillation of soft sculptures alongside scaffolding structures and imagery of the impression of spikes on the body. The soft sculpture interventions in the gallery space, is in juxtaposition to the hard architecture forums that it references. Accumulating in the reflection of how space is designed to influence the movement of people, especially the most vulnerable in our society.

The soft white sculpture consisting of stuffed spikes, made with a completely white material, has been designed to blend in with the white gallery walls. This was done to reflect how hostile architecture appears invisible to those who are not affected by it. It is draped between two scaffolding structures to give an impression of the work ever evolving and growing.

The group of independent soft spikes on the ground, were made with the image of the gallery floor printed onto the fabric. This was designed to appear as though the soft spikes are coming up through the floor while also blending into the space that it takes up. Also reflecting the invisibility of hostile architecture to those who it does not effect. There are approximately 50 spikes that are scattered in one area of the space.

The artist has chosen to develop and explore this topic through textiles due to the opposite of the functions of the materials she used and the materials she is referencing. The soft sculpture is an inviting material that persuades the viewer to interact with the object, while referencing forums that are hard, hostile, and unappealing.

From architect Walter Gropius’s text “What is architecture?”, he calls for artist’s to “smash the frame of saloon art … go to buildings …chisel ideas into the bare walls – and build in imagination,”. This call for artist to redefine architectural spaces is seen in Bakker’s work. The expansion of the gallery space to critic the reality of space that appears invisible to some.