Artist Statement: Hayley Millar Baker

Entr’acte channels the internal feelings of restrained rage and its transformation into grief, rippling through the body and permeating all levels of the self. Taking its title from the French word ‘Entr’acte’ – referring to an interlude performed between two acts of a play – the work centres a female protagonist cast as a vessel symbolising ‘woman’ who is holding the inequitable weight women are forced to carry and contend with daily, across the multitude of experiences, identities, and roles they play. Entr’acte simultaneously embraces notions of intimacy and intensity to convey the monumental focus, determination, and power of women, capturing the moment after an action and before a reaction, or external rupture. Neither documentary, nor fiction, Entr’acte raises a pertinent social commentary about the expectations forced on women – mourning the loss of free expression in a world of social and cultural inequity.

‘The pain of women turns them into kittens and rabbits and sunsets and sordid red satin goddesses, pales them and bloodies them and starves them, delivers them to death camps and sends locks of their hair to the stars. Men put them on trains and under them. Violence turns them celestial. Age turns them old. We can’t look away. We can’t stop imagining new ways for them to hurt.’ – Leslie Jamison, 2014.[1]

Are you a morning or a night person?

I am a night person, I do my best thinking at night, but I have children who are up at 5am. So, I’m forced to be a morning person too.

Is there a sound that prompts a where or when for you?

The Cure, ‘Close to Me’. For me that is the one of the songs of my childhood, dancing and singing in the lounge room with my cousins and Aunties.

Is there something you’ve always collected / what is something you’ve recently thrown away?

When I was younger, I used to collect mini Buddhas I don’t know why / I throw out things that no longer serve the time I am in.

Where do you feel the most connected / where do you feel the most disconnected?

Most connected in my dreams / least connected in the physical world.

What scares you the most right now / what inspires you?

I’ve recently learnt I’m scared of earthquakes since the two earthquakes in Victoria in the past year / Art history inspires me, it’s where I look to when I need to get a fresh perspective.

Through the process of making your new commission for Between Waves, what has been clear and/or become more complicated?

The thing that has become clearest to me through the process of making this commission, is that no matter what I thought I wanted the work to be, the work had its own idea of what it needed to be, which was a bit scary. I had all these grand ideas and then none of that worked and it just needed to be what it wanted to be. I have never worked in that way, never put a strait cut into anything. The work needed to be what the work needed to be, and I had to lean into that.

[1] Leslie Jamison, ‘The Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain’, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 2014, Vol. 90, part 2, 2014, viewed 8 June 2023,