Cosmic kiwi encounter

LIBBY BAKER can’t believe how the stars have aligned.

Her sister’s just rung from her birth country New Zealand to tell her an international magazine’s interested in running a story on her, but they need a high res photograph; and here I am out the front of Kidogo Arthouse taking snaps.

To further strengthen her feeling the universe has spoken, I’m taking photos of anti-nuclear protesters, while her exhibition Hope and Transformation is about healing the planet.

And so Baker finds herself in the Herald’s MBS after one of the most unusual photo shoots and interviews in the paper’s history.

We’re part way through when she feels a burst of energy disrupting Kidogo’s small side gallery, where projections of her geometric artworks fill the wall.

• Libby Baker with her never-ending artwork. Photo by Steve Grant

Her warning not to freak out if she does something strange is well timed—a few minutes later she closes her eyes and seems to be grappling and arguing with some sort of presence in a language that could be Maori or Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

Later it emerges I might have had something to do with the disruptive energy—perhaps something to do with the stories I’ve been writing about the dark history of the nearby Round House?

Baker says painting provides her with a creative link to energetic dimensions she had not considered possible, with Hope and Transformation its physical manifestation.

“It’s a heart energy that’s in touch with the feminine to bring back some balance to the planet,” says the Gooseberry Hills artist.

“It comes through me rather than from me.”

The centrepiece of the exhibition, which closed on Wednesday was the artwork Hope and Transformation, which has evolved over the last seven years.

What started as a single, simple canvas, is now a 26.5kg sculpture courtesy of the multiple layers of paint.

“I believed the work was finished, would hang it and start painting on the canvas again,” says Baker.

“There were times when I was overwhelmed with joy at images that miraculously appeared and suffered enormous loss and regret when I was drawn back to keep painting and lost the image.

Baker says she was only able to paint the works after “letting go”.

“I felt that I was being given a story to tell by painting from the heart, which also involved overcoming feeling of self-doubt, fear and stepping out of conditioned norms.”

Baker is also an author, having self-published self-healing books; Lillibet’s Elemental Wisdom, Revealing Hidden Emotions and a Colour Therapy Pack. For more information on upcoming workshops or to purchase one of Baker’s books see her website

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