Great & Tiny War
Commissioned by 14-18 NOW as part of its finale programme, Great & Tiny War occupied a house in Newcastle from Autumn 2018.
Since 2014, 100 years since WW1 began, artist Bobby Baker had been reimagining what day-to-day life was like in wartime. In this work she invited us on a tour of a transformed house – an ingenious, immersive multimedia installation inspired by real stories, passed down through her family and shaped by the domestic and emotional labour of conflicts.
Guests were met with an uncommon experience as the house contents juxtaposed the spectacular with the everyday – a ghostly heroine, an edible armoury, 4,701 reinvented dinners – and other happenings of unpredictable proportions.
Baker’s astonishing installation shined a light on the role of women during wartime and the impact of conflicts, historical and contemporary, on the mental health of whole families through the generations.
In doing so, she celebrated the women who carry on running houses, bringing up children, and keeping families together at the most harrowing of times.
Great & Tiny War served as a monument to their unacknowledged private struggles and personal strength, and aimed to resonate with anyone whose family has been touched by conflict.