In this episode of Art on the Island, Maureen Bader interviews John Cooper in the Co-op Café amidst his current exhibit
Things Go Better With Copper
John first appeared on Art on the Island on October 20th when he discussed his art background, starting in the 1950s in the US. John came to Canada in the 1970s and eventually moved to a town close to Nelson BC where he lived for about 40 years. John has lived on Cortes Island full time for about a year and a half. Teaching art is something that links together his vast background. You can hear the October 20th podcast here (link to other podcast).
He discussed his time as an abstract expressionist, and says that genre didn’t speak to him so how could it speak to other people? In his search for a way to communicate with people, John moved back to recognizable subjects, starting with horses asses (inspired by a broom), which unfortunately are not part of the current exhibit.
John talks about the thesis of his thesis, a Whisk broom (John’s Mona Lisa – listen to the podcast to find out why), and how and why it is a contradiction, but at the same time, like a horses tail. In the current exhibit at the Coop Café, he replaced the original brass Whisk broom with a copper copy, and explains how this brackets his career.
John discusses a number of his series, starting with the Vintage Voyager, and explains why and what he is trying to say about what we are. His thesis has changed over time and John explains how.
John advises local artists to make art. Practice, look at what you are doing, what you have done and what other people have done and find a way to get your work to speak to you, because if it doesn’t speak to you, it won’t speak to your audience either.