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Artwork

Baker did many cartoons in series form on various subjects including the state of our public footpaths, nuclear tests, etc.

In the 1980s Baker had to undergo major surgery and had to stay in hospital for post-recuperative care for some time. Never one to sit idle, Baker observed the scenes around him and quickly sketched them down. The result is an unpublished cartoon book on hospitals and the idiosyncrasies of the medical profession with over 80 cartoons that are hilarious yet so true!

Baker was amused by the amount and cryptic nature of technical jargon which gained popularity with the advent of computers. Unable to resist the temptation to add his intepretation to these acronyms, Baker did another set of 50 odd cartoons explaining various computer temninology the Baker way.

 Check out page 2 which lists some of his political cartoons

 

Baker was fond of making collages and models. However how could an unconventional architect like himself possibly make them like everyone else? For instance, he fashioned art pieces out of the remains of plywood eaten by white-ants! This perceptual ability to notice what others miss is seen is his work as well.

Here is a more conventional collage made of old newspaper bits of one of Baker's major influences in life: Mahatma Gandhi.

Baker never repeated a design. Every building was unique. He also abhorred wastage in any form. He managed to combine both these principles even in his hobby of designing collages using waste paper and discarded magazines and newspaper material.

Baker always had a fascination for the traditional Indian mango patterns and he used them extensively in his artwork and even his designs for buildings, ponds, tables, etc. A notable example of a house built in a mango shape is the Narayanan's house at Golf Links, Trivandrum which incorporated a performance hall since the owner's wife was an accomplished dancer.



Baker was a gifted artist. Perhaps it is this artistic mentality which enabled him to conceptualise and create such strikingly innovative and beautiful buildings. Baker has produced literally several hundreds of paintings predominantly done during the early periods of his life and particularly the Himalayan period perhaps because he was relatively less busy and had the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayas to inspire him.

Below are a few of his paintings chosen at random

Baker always carried his home-made diary fashioned out of old pieces of paper from envelopes, marriage invitations, advertisements and other waste paper wherever he went. Baker's ability to sketch was one of the main reasons he never needed to become fluent in Indian languages. Whenever people didn't understand English he would whip out his diary and scribble together a quick sketch to explain what he meant.

Baker always advised architecture students to develop the habit of sketching to document buildings and other things of interest rather than use a camera since one remembered so much more when one has to draw it.

Here are some collages of sketches and photographs of the Hamlet, Baker's home in Trivandrum. (The photos are not all from the same time period as the sketch depicted)

Here are some sketches drawn by Baker of buildings built by him. Also included are two of Venice and Allepey, Kerala (considered the Venice of the East). Baker had studied Allepey closely and had come up with suggestions for restoration efforts in a report.