Bonnie Baxter

Texarkana, Etat-unis


Bonnie Baxter’s recent work is instilled with the spirit of social ecology and realized through experimental print, installation, sculpture, and video. Her continuing series, RatKind, uses inter-species awareness to engage viewers’ consciousness of the environment, both social and ecological. Recent exhibitions include Spirit Matter at Clark Centre in 2020, RatKind: Paradise Lost at FOFA, Concordia University in 2019, as well as three major surveys of her work at the Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides (MAC LAU) including the touring exhibition Rewind (2005-07) and Bonnie Baxter : Présent / Passé / Futur (2018-19). She was born in Texarkana, Texas and lives and works in Val-David, Québec where she founded the Atelier du Scarabée n 1982. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally for more than 4 decades. In recent years her work has been awarded with the Prix Télé-Québec 2019 as part of the 11e BIECTR, the Prix les grand Soleils (a Lifetime achievement award) in 2018 and the Prix Charles Biddle in 2017.
Bonnie Baxter is represented by Division Gallery.

About the artwork

In this installation, Bonnie Baxter asks the viewer to project themselves into a utopian/dystopian future where a community of humanoid rats have supplanted human beings. Her presentation encourages us to overcome our fear and hatred of the rat, a feeling of dread that is deeply rooted in our subconscious, and therefore move beyond our preconceived notions and prejudices. Here, the physical proximity of rats to humans and our shared social behaviours make them a mirror image of our own existence. RatKind. Paradise Lost uses inter-species awareness to engage viewers’ consciousness of the
environment, both social and ecological. It presents itself as an antidote to growing inequality, human
rights issues and today’s environmental crisis. Within the theme of the emergence of a community that managed to survive a human-induced ecological disaster, Baxter’s friends and acquaintances perform as models and actors, and imagine a society based on empathy and respect for all living creatures and a feeling of goodwill towards nature. The majority of this series’ items were created in the artist’s spectacular gardens at her home in Val-David. The red poppies and goldfish images of the series Poppies recreate this bucolic place at the top of Place Ville-Marie.

Artist's artworks and activities

RatKind. Paradise Lost