For Leap, Bakker photographed human wear and tear on sports equipment in the sports hall of a local north London school. The photographs explore the action of making physical leaps in sport and the impact it leaves. Every piece of sports equipment holds a history of personal stories, as each participant has left their mark on it.
Bakker created a photographic archive of sports equipment from which five photographs were selected for the Haringey Olympic art collection.
As part of his research, Bakker looked back on his fondness for gymnastics as a child growing up in the Netherlands. “I never thought I could excel at sports as I had no aptitude for activities like football, for which I was always picked last. But the first time I leapt over a vaulting horse I realised there were sports I could enjoy and even be good at.”
Bakker conducted workshops with children from year 3 (ages 7-8) and year 5 (ages 9-10) at South Harringay Junior School in north London, explaining the thinking behind the project and the workings of film photography. The children used disposable film cameras to take photographs of sports equipment in their school's sports hall and playground and their artwork is shown alongside Bakker's photographs.
Leap: 5 C-type prints from negative film, 50cmx50cm, framed. Ring, Shuttle, Climbing Rack, Vaulting Horse and Rope.
Little Leaps (the children's artwork): C-type print from negative film, made up of a grid consisting of 24 photographs.
Leap is a commission by Haringey Council and is part of their permanent Olympic art collection, which was exhibited at Bruce Castle Museum, Lordship Lane, London N17 8NU from 25 July to 23 September 2012.