Art­works com­bine Maori and clas­sics

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Mata­mata res­i­dent Dar­ren Cooper ap­proached Wal­lace Gallery shortly af­ter it opened in Oc­to­ber 2010, keen to hold his first solo ex­hi­bi­tion, cre­at­ing a fo­cus for the new body of art­work he was gen­er­at­ing.

Gallery di­rec­tor Char­lotte Giblin was im­me­di­ately im­pressed with Cooper’s strong style and bold use of colour and the re­sult­ing de­but solo show is open­ing in the Com­mu­nity Gallery on Thurs­day July 7.

Mr Cooper at­tended an art course in 1989 run by Mata­mata artist Anne de Silva, where he learnt how to use pas­tels, wa­ter­colours and acrylic paints, which are his chief ma­te­ri­als to this day.

That pe­riod of study was fur­thered un­der the tute­lage of Ital­ian artist Mau­r­izio Sarsini dur­ing which time Cooper learnt clas­si­cal and ob­ser­va­tional tech­niques which greatly changed the way he was able to paint and draw.

Tra­di­tional Maori carv­ing work­shops at Te Wananga o Aotearoa and Te Wananga o Raukawa helped Cooper to con­nect his clas­si­cal paint­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with his emo­tional roots and it is this com­bi­na­tion of cul­tural styles and teach­ing which form the ba­sis of his work to­day.

Ms Giblin said: ‘‘ We are re­ally priv­i­leged to be host­ing Dar­ren’s de­but solo show at Wal­lace Gallery. He is clearly fas­ci­nated by tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary Maori art which is re­flected in the va­ri­ety of work Dar­ren pro­duces. Dar­ren’s por­traits are par­tic­u­larly strik­ing and I know that our vis­i­tors to the gallery will be im­pressed.’’

Dar­ren Cooper’s ex­hi­bi­tion is show­ing in the Wal­lace Com­mu­nity Gallery from July 7-20.

Solo de­but: Mata­mata artist Dar­ren Cooper’s ex­hi­bi­tion is show­ing in the Wal­lace Com­mu­nity Gallery from July 7-20. Pic­tured is one of his art­works that will fea­ture in the ex­hi­bi­tion.

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