Tucked away amongst the granite of Penwith, Jessica Cooper has lived and worked in the isolation of Britain’s most south westerly outcrop of land for most of her life. Her connection with Cornwall is significant. Brought up in a remote hamlet, perched between the north coast cliffs and Penwith moor, her early years were filled with the adventure of rugged, rural living. Childhood exploration of craggy tors, wild beaches, empty moors and boggy footpaths implanted a visual language that has informed her work for years hence. This early and onward sense of close knit family and belonging has undoubtedly instilled the core values she demonstrates today. Through memory, observation and thoughtful intent her work is loaded with artistic integrity and an appreciation of simply being.
Rooted in the familiarity of place, people and the objects that surround her, Cooper continually references ordinary things that imply ordinary living. By sharing her observations of the apparently mundane, a resonant potency is granted to the humble ‘things’ that surround us. Compositions are pared down with the economical line of true draughtsmanship and in a process of reduction familiar objects and places are granted a renewed status. On this journey of editing and uncluttering, everyday chaos is reduced to calm and line and colour are given equal significance with the content.
Utter conviction and clarity is required to achieve such understated minimalism. The austere, balanced, exactness of the work can arrive in a moment of responsive drawing as much as it can from weeks of layering, removing and adding.
Arts Journalist 2006