Drawing is the central tenet of my practice and for the past five years I have worked on large drawings (150 c.m. square), each developed over several months, being visual meditations on Time, Memory, and our place within nature. In a search for simplicity, I have limited myself to using charcoal, to explore the traces of ‘Memory’, both personal and cultural, on the human visual lexicon. Out of these drawings I ‘Pivot Out’ into smaller drawings, which play with isolated themes, such as ancient materials, technologies by which we the humans have a need to mark our passage.
Stephen Jon Cooper
COOPERSJ2: Cave Wall 2: Crane Dancing 2022 Charcoal on Fabriano Paper 150 c.m. x 150 c.m. The Crane represents a personal mythology derived from my experiences as a dancer and mask practitioner. Movement and sculpting being the mud and soil from which life emerges.
COOPERSJ3: Crane: 2022 Charcoal on Fabriano Paper 53 cm x 63 cm I made this study of the bird and its anatomy to draw parallels with the creation of the first mask I made, ‘Crane Man’ back in 1995. This was my first step into colour for five years.
COOPERSJ4: Net Drawing 2021 Charcoal on Fabriano Paper 53 cm x 63 cm I regularly start a drawing with the ghost of a ceramic plate. Clay /mud being an early material I used as a child for making art. Here I referenced flint snapping and net making as communication tools.