Julia Cooper: House and Garden
7 September - 1 October 2018
For her third solo exhibition with David Simon Contemporary, Julia Cooper has largely focused on paintings of kitchen still lifes. This has been a favourite theme
for her for some time and a series of small abstract ‘garden’ compositions are
a recent diversion, adding an interesting new dimension to her work. In many ways her enjoyment of painting and the enjoyment of viewing her works is more about the composition of abstract structure and the handling of the paint surfaces.
Living on the rugged Cornish coast, Julia Cooper is constantly inspired by her surrounding environment. Exploring the coastline, she enjoys finding sun bleached and weathered marine debris, vintage boat timbers and jetsam on the beaches. Julia’s landscapes and coastal paintings often emerge out of the thought processes and physical discoveries of surface textures made when creating the three-dimensional works. Whether constructing or paintings, she becomes completely engrossed in the job of adjusting colours, or shapes until the whole looks right. Much of this side of her painting involves scraping back to layers underneath to add texture and visible history of the making.
Julia Cooper has always enjoyed painting kitchen still lifes, following a timeless tradition of depicting simple shapes such as bowls and jugs, as a mode of studying the juxtaposition of colour. Often she will incorporate repetitive patterns suggesting chequered floor tiles to build a spatial tension within the composition. This sometimes creates flattened and multiple perspectives, acknowledging her inspiration from Cornish artists such as Patric Heron and William Scott. ‘The term Wabi-sabi represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view. It means finding beauty in imperfection, modesty, intimacy or austerity. I like to think the objects in my Still Life and the intimacy of the wood constructions are akin to to such an aesthetic, a bit faded and quietly satisfying.’
Julia Cooper trained in Fine Art as well as Interior Design and has exhibited her work widely in the United Kingdom. She holds regular solo and mixed exhibitions in Cornwall and Bath.