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 received notable attention when Snowy from Cavy, an angstful cat, won the Supreme Award of the Norsewear Awards in 2006. Jim's installation Sgt P toured major museums and he has held solo exhibitions throughout including Peppermints and Incense exhibited at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2008.