An exhibition at one of London’s leading art museums opens today with sculpture people are welcome to eat.

The sculpture is a restaging of Bobby Baker’s radical feminist installation, An Edible Family in Mobile Home, which has not been remade for almost 50 years, when it was originally staged in 1976.

The installation is a replica of Baker’s prefab east London home which has been erected outside Tate Britain on the South Lawn.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Bobby Baker, An Edible Family in a Mobile Home, 1976Bobby Baker, An Edible Family in a Mobile Home, 1976 (Image: Documented by Andrew Whittuck)

It features five life-sized sculptures of family members made from cake, biscuits and meringues which the public are invited to eat while talking to hosts who have been trained by the artist herself.

The installation marks the opening of Tate Britain’s next major exhibition, Women in Revolt! Art and Activism in the UK 1970-1990.

It features more than 100 women artists and celebrates their often-overlooked contribution to British culture.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Preparation for An Edible Family in a Mobile Home by Bobby Baker, 1976Preparation for An Edible Family in a Mobile Home by Bobby Baker, 1976 (Image: Andrew Whittuck)

The exhibition looks at how networks of women using radical idea and rebellious methods fuelled women’s liberation during a time of great social, economical and political change.

Photographs of Baker’s original sculptural installation are among the exhibited works.

Baker staged her original installation over the course of a week in her Stepney home. Visitors ate pieces of her cake ‘family’ and Baker served cups of tea, performing the role of a polite female host. It sounds quite charming, but if the images are anything to go by, the installation was quite a dark experience. 

Richmond and Twickenham Times: The mother in An Edible Family in a Mobile Home, by Bobby Baker 1976 The mother in An Edible Family in a Mobile Home, by Bobby Baker 1976 (Image: Documented by Andrew Whittuck)

Baking her cake family herself which took over a month to complete, Baker made a father out of fruitcake, a teenage son made out of garibaldi biscuits sat in the bath which was filled with chocolate cake bathwater.

The household’s cake mother was constructed out of a dressmaker’s mannequin, had a teapot for a head, and stocked a constant supply of fairy cakes, sandwiches and fruit from compartments from her hollowed-out abdomen.

The restaged installation will be open to the public, for free, for the first four weeks of the exhibition, from November 8 to December 3, and then again for the exhibition’s final four weeks, from March 8, 2024 to April 7, 2024.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Portrait of Bobby Baker at Tate Britain, 2023Portrait of Bobby Baker at Tate Britain, 2023 (Image: Hugo Glendinning)

While Baker’s installation is free, tickets for the full exhibition are £17.

Women In Revolt! Runs November 8 to April 7, 2024 at Tate Britain, Millbank SW1P 4RG.

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