You are something else (2017) by Vanessa Baird. 
Soft pastels on printing paper, each 400 x 124 cm (157,48 x 48,81 inches) Installation view from Kunstnernes Hus. Photo courtesy of: Kristina Leithe / Kunstnernes Hus
You are something else (2017) by Vanessa Baird. Soft pastels on printing paper, each 400 x 124 cm (157,48 x 48,81 inches) Installation view from Kunstnernes Hus. Photo courtesy of: Kristina Leithe / Kunstnernes Hus


VANESSA BAIRD

“It´s something like being Samantha Fox.
After 30 years, without breast implants.
Being trapped in your underwear, falling. Its dark. Your going to spend the rest of your life recovering from femoral neck fracture.
With a vague memory of the past.”

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me


Lyrics from We Are The World

Vanessa Baird (b. 1963, Oslo) lives and works in Oslo. Baird is known for her work with watercolours and pastels, ranging from large scale murals and wallpapers to intimate series. Being highly motivated by a dark, haunting and fable-like range of references, her work includes imagery from personal domestic realities as well as cityscapes and architectural elements. Whether surreal or narrative, her intense and detailed drawings are often perceived as controversial, regularly commenting on the political and social affairs of contemporary time. The work, “Lyset forsvinner – bare vi lukker øynene” (The light fades – if only we close our eyes) took centre stage in one of the most talked about art incidents in Norwegian history, as the work was removed from the Ministry of Health in 2013 after associations were made with the Oslo bombings of July 22nd.

You are something else (2017) by Vanessa Baird. 
Soft pastels on printing paper, each 400 x 124 cm (157,48 x 48,81 inches) Installation view from Kunstnernes Hus. Photo courtesy of: Kristina Leithe / Kunstnernes Hus
You are something else (2017) by Vanessa Baird.
Soft pastels on printing paper, each 400 × 124 cm (157,48 × 48,81 inches) Installation view from Kunstnernes Hus. Photo courtesy of: Kristina Leithe / Kunstnernes Hus


Baird is a former recipient of the Lorck Schive Art Award (2015) and the Telenor Culture Prize (2018). She is a collaborator of acclaimed Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård, and has illustrated his novel, “Om høsten” (Au- tumn). Together with colleague Mette Hellenes, Baird also runs the independent press “Brunt hull”. In November 2017 Baird opened the solo exhibition “You are something else” at Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo. This became one of the institutions most visited exhibitions, and was hailed by critics and curators as one of the most important in newer Norwegian art history. This critically acclaimed work also showed at KODE in Bergen in 2019.

Mette Hellenes and Vanessa Baird. 
Photo: Rolf Øhman. Courtesy of Aftenposten.
Mette Hellenes and Vanessa Baird.
Photo: Rolf Øhman. Courtesy of Aftenposten.


Baird is educated at the National Academy of Arts, Oslo, Norway. Solo exhibitions include, among others: The National Museum of Art, Oslo; Göteborg Konstmuseum, Gotehnburg; Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand; Stenersenmuseet, Oslo and Lillehammer Kunstmuseum, Lillehammer. Recent solo exhibitions include: Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Lorck Schive Art Award, Trondheim and OSL contemporary, Oslo, The 2018 Kochi Muziris Biennale, Kerala, India and KODE Bergen Art Museum.