2021 fantastic flowers and small houses belgrave gallery
foreword richard blackborow
For this exhibition, Jessica Cooper has revisited two motifs/themes that have appeared in her work over the years, but that have had particular resonance in the past year.
In her still life work, Jessica has been using a sequence of placements to inform the emotional content of the overall composition. First, the placement of the vase: a stark, uncluttered icon; a considered place of centred peace. Second, the flowers: an exploratory area of colour and form; a symbolic exposition of release, spontaneity and pleasure in the paint medium. After a consideration of the way these forms interact with the space around them, a third form is often introduced: a smaller object, a line; an exploration of the way these can either anchor the composition or introduce a slightly disconcerting influence.
The simple motif of the small house is a surprisingly complex one for the artist. In the Cornish context, housing, property, and the question of ownership is constantly in the news, but the home is also a personal and intimate symbol for the self. As objects, houses stand in relation to one another in reality just as they do in symbolic placement within a painting, where planes of form and colour create their own identities and interactions. As with her still life work, the artist often introduces a secondary object; a bird, a tree, to add an emotional intimacy to the work.