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JIM COOPER: The Cellophane Circus Visits the Royal Suite

Now on display at the Maruawai Centre, across the road from the Gallery,
until 7 February 2021

Dunedin artist Jim Cooper is perhaps best known for his colourful and figurative ceramic works. Continually pushing boundaries and taking clay it its absolute limits, Cooper has developed a fresh and dynamic approach to his chosen medium. With their playful and whimsical appearance, Cooper’s installations disguise the challenges and technical finesse required for their construction. His ceramic works often take the shape of figures, animals or plants. They are always colourfully glazed and grouped to form unique sculptural installations. More recently he has been introducing new materials into his work, with papier maché, recycled fabric and other found materials all discovering a new life in his quirky and colourful installations.

‘The Cellophane Circus Visits the Royal Suite’ brings together a selection of work made over the past 3-4 years in his Port Chalmers studio. Included is a selection of his rag rug works that resemble paintings, as well as ceramic and papier maché animals and figures, and his enormous strings of ceramic beads.

Cooper has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Otago Polytechnic School of Art (2000) and spent time teaching at the School of Art before dedicating himself full-time to ceramics. He has exhibited extensively both public and private institutions within New Zealand and Australia, and he has been the recipient of numerous awards and residencies.

Jim Cooper