From 1918 – 2009, long before Raven Row became a gallery, Rebecca Levy lived in the flat above it.
After her death, the apartment was kept exactly as she had left it – knick-knacks, crockery and family mementos all carefully preserved, but kept away from the prying eyes of the public.
Until Iain Baxter& got his hands on it.
Baxter& has reworked his landmark 1966 installation Bagged Place into Rebecca’s Bagged Place.
Everything is covered in plastic – pots, pans, the shower, the toilet, the walls and floors – it’s delightfully suffocating.
The apartment, full of sentimental keepsakes, confuses our perceptions of space. Sterile and homely, unforgiving and poignant – the layer of polyethylene removes any potential for emotional connection. It’s like the air has been vacuumed packed out of the room; yet this stifling sensation is incredibly enjoyable. Poking around a kitsch kitchen and the pristine rooms doesn’t feel like naughty voyeurism – everything is here for our amusement.
Baxter& has an eclectic background in art and zoology and a genuine concern for how we live and relate to the environment – an obvious humour underlies his work.
He added an ampersand to this end of his name back in 2005 in order to solidify his brand, the collaborative nature of his practice and because he really likes the typographic mark.
Iain Baxter&, Rebecca’s Bagged Place, 2013, Photographs by Marcus J. Leith