Each one of Robert Cooper’s complex, quirky, exuberant vessels is like a time machine taking you on a whistle-stop journey through ten thousand years of the history of world ceramics. From the earthworks of Neolithic Britain via the tea-houses of ancient Japan to the pottery factories of twentieth century Staffordshire and then on to the future of contemporary studio ceramics these pots encapsulate a rich and varied itinerary of reference material.
Only recently diagnosed as dyslexic, Cooper has, nevertheless, long acknowledged his difficulty in communicating via the written word. He has compensated by building up a highly personal visual and tactile language given expression through the medium of clay. As well as conveying his passion for the history of the clay vessel Cooper’s ceramics also serve the purpose of a journal: the making process is a means of documenting ideas, emotions and reactions to both personal life and the wider culture.
Here is no bland, innocuous minimalism – life is too short and there is too much to do and say. The pieces open their narratives with each fingerprint, fold and tear in the body of the clay. Multiple storylines are introduced through various applications of silk-screen printing, free-hand drawing, glazes and transfers. Only after repeated firings with lustres and enamels is the plot finally revealed – or, occasionally, lost!
Pick up a piece, slip through a worm-hole in time, feel the history, engage in a dialogue, have a laugh: these are pots to enliven your heart and mind.
Born 1949 Sheffield
1968-1969 Foundation Course Sheffield College of Art, Sheffield, Yorkshire.
1969-1972 B.A. (Hons) Interior Design, Kingston Upon Thames College of Art, Surrey
1979-1982 M.A. Ceramics Royal College of Art. London
2008 – “Material Difference” Rochester Art Gallery. Kent.
Robert Cooper, Stella Harding.
2007 Hue, Form, Line. Group Show, C.A.A. London
Opening Group Show of the Ron Wornick Ceramic Collection. Boston Museum of Modern Art. U.S.A.
Solo Show, Metre Square Gallery, Quay2, Peckham,London.
Ceramic Art London, Royal College of Art, London.
2005 Group Show, Clay Gallery, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
2004 S.O.F.A. Chicago. U.S.A.
“Artist in Focus” C.A.A. London
S.O.F.A. Clay Gallery, New York U.S.A.
2003 S.O.F.A British Craft Council. Chicago.U.S.A.
2003-2007 Visiting Lecturer, Ceramic Department.
1998- 2003 Chelsea College of Art & Design. London.
Visiting Lecturer, Public Art & Design.
1990-2007 City Literary Institute (City Lit) London.
Full time .5 Teacher Co-ordinator
Teaching: Ceramic 2 year part time Higher Education Diploma Course.
Ceramics, Further Education foundation course.
Ceramics, F .E .City & guilds ceramics 7922 course.
Adult Education, ceramics courses.
1997 Painted tiles, Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art. Fire Galleries Amenities
1996 Flying Books, Essex County Council, Braintree Public Library
1995 Ceramic Wall Piece Leicester, Royal Infirmary
- CAA Exhibitions
- Current Exhibition
- Coming Soon