2012 life without words the stour gallery
foreword sarah stoten
Jessica Cooper’s paintings have a clarity of observation and mark making that create their own ambiguity. Forming connections, emotions evolving and revolving, the paintings are caught in time, place and circumstance. Her subjects are the familiar that anchor her in her life; isolated on canvas, we reappraise and interpret them through our own daily lives. We feel we know them, as indeed we do; they are part of the shared human experience.
A sense of place, a sense of self, and a sense of the pathos of the house, the tree, the cup, flower or fruit, are the communicating elements of Jessica Cooper’s work; that these objects and landscapes cannot know the emotional response they trigger in us; the moment caught and held by the paintbrush and pencil; and underpinning and supporting, the emotional communication, a strongly intuitive but academic understanding of area, colour, form and tone. In many ways visual poetry of the sparest and most affecting kind.
Jessica Cooper was elected a Royal West of England Academician in 2007. She has been on the Council of Management of Newlyn Art Gallery and the Exchange, Cornwall since 2006, and from 1995 has been a painting member of The Newlyn Society of Artists as well as a mentor of The Tate St Ives Graduate Mentoring Scheme. She won the RWA highly Commended Award and the Drawing Quarters Award from the University of the West of England in 2005. In 2007 her work was selected for the Tate St Ives prestigious exhibition ‘Art Now Cornwall’.