Artworks combine Maori and classics
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.