New Works by Barbara Pratt
Cakes fill the role of marking important milestones in our lives. Weddings, christenings, graduation days, retirements and even funerals all include cake in their rituals.
I have been a baker all my life and baking birthday cakes is something that I do. I find it hard not to, to be honest. I think it comes from my mother. My mother was a baker. She baked bread and biscuits, meringues, divinity fudge and beautifully decorated gingerbread men at Christmas and of course, birthday cakes. Once, when I was away at university, she even sent me a fully decorated cake in the mail. This continued throughout my life and when she found it too hard to do, she had a caregiver do it. Those last cakes weren't as perfect and even though they weren't made by her own hand, there was no less love in them. My mother knew cakes were important.
In 2018 my mother died.
In 2019, when I turned 56, I realized that, for the first time, there would be no cake. It was a hard day. It made me realize that baking a cake was, for my mother, an act of love. Thinking about it, I realized, too, that it's the same for me.
I've created this body of work to honour my Mother. You won't see her baking, but you will see some of mine and some of Maria Clarke's. My mother painted her baking and so now, I do the same. She has influenced me and continues to teach me. It is not a thing I could ever reject. I am of her.
- Barbara Pratt 2020