for graphic designer caitlin truman baker the design process is a journey through her subconscious. using the female archetype as a central point, the plettenberg bay based designer explores a visual fantasy that mirrors her inner processes and pathways to self enlightenment. a collection of portraits reflect a journey towards self realization using symbolic imagery from the subconscious. the result is evocative of a strangely surreal landscape in which a personality gradually evolves and breeches barriers personal, physical, mental and emotional to emerge into a state of awareness. mythical beasts, flora and fauna are imbued with allegory. the snake, a symbol of life force, can be seen woven through turbans, slipping through mouths and dangling like jewels. birds, breaking free from the confines of boxed hearts and cluttered heads, soar through cloudless skies carrying messages of hope and freedom. water, the universal pool of emotion, once a recurring dream for the artist, laps precariously around the foot of a chair or is the sea in which she finds herself drifting alone.
anchored to africa, she has a filial respect and devotion to the continent's natural life force, working through a sublime connection between nurtured and nurturing in her work. love, hate and fear are all emotions relevant in her parallel, private, physical transition. a sexual undertone, the ambiguity of male and female, the duality of good and evil and black and white, are themes which are represented through dolls with human arms, women with many masks, black african madonnas and sleeping girl childs.
"i start with an idea of where I’d like to take the piece,͟ says the artist, explaining her approach to digital collage. ͞i start with a mental visual then collect images I’ve found, bought or something I’ve shot myself and then start building into a piece of work. each piece has many layers of textures and images. it’s an incredibly personal process where everything is layered with meaning.͟ sometimes the end result is quite different from the initial thought, but I go wherever the process takes me.
caitlin’s body of work consist out of 93 art prints to date. having worked as a professional graphic designer for over 25 years, it is only now she has felt the need to use her creative process to explore her physical and emotive reality.
born in cape town, caitlin lived in london before returning to south africa and relocating to plettenberg bay. she lives with her partner andrew mitchell and three sons.