Dunedin artist Jim Cooper’s ceramic sculptures push clay to its absolute limits while adhering to and confirming his fine art intent.
Dunedin artist Jim Cooper's ceramic sculptures push clay to its absolute limits while adhering to and confirming his fine art intent. Jim has an MFA in ceramics and until recently, he taught at Otago Polytech. Jim is now concentrating on his art making full time because his installations typically include more than 100 pieces with the largest, Peppermints and Incense, having 1000 individual pieces.
The installations of figures with colourful glazes are the result of more than 20 years of refinement, during which Jim has been experimenting with modelling clay, firing techniques and glazes. Sgt P, Peppermints and Incense, and Its All Too Beautiful are responses to the record covers from the psychedelic era of the 1960s and 70s. Jim's re-imagining of album covers celebrate the hand-made with vigorously modelled figurative works.
The challenges inherent in constructing these figurative works contradict the casual and playful essence of Jim's installations and attest to Jim's skill and determination to continually reconstruct our understanding of 'ceramics' by developing fresh and dynamic narrative installations.
Jim's work has been extensively exhibited in both public and private institutions within New Zealand and Australia and he has been the recipient of numerous awards and residencies. He was Supreme Award winner of the Norsewear Art Award in 2006. International judges of the Portage Ceramic Award have recognised his work with awards on four occasions including the Premier Award in 2009 and 2012. Cooper’s international residency awards include the Yingge International Ceramics Museum and Gallery Taiwan (2009-2010) and Gudagergaard International Ceramics Research Centre, Skaelskor, Denmark (2016-2017).