Eileen Cooper RA: Hide and Seek

26 Sep 2016 – 15 Jan 2017

Event times

10am – 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday and 2 – 5pm on Sundays. Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays. Closes at 4pm November to March.

Cost of entry

Free entry

Mercer Art Gallery

Harrogate, United Kingdom


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A major Autumn exhibition at The Mercer Art Gallery will feature drawings by Eileen Cooper RA, the first woman Keeper of the Royal Academy of Arts, London.


Whilst Cooper is best known for her richly coloured and expressive paintings and prints, Hide and Seek will present rarely-seen drawings made in a variety of media including charcoal, pencil, pastel and ink.

This is a superb opportunity to view a large selection of poetic, bold and figurative drawings by Eileen Cooper RA spanning almost 40 years of her career. This remarkable body of work illustrates how Cooper’s distinctive imagery has developed through making drawings that explore such subjects as sexuality, birth, family, fecundity and creativity. Organised in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts the exhibition is another major achievement for the Mercer, which has a reputation for promoting the work of female artists.

Jane Sellars, curator of the Mercer Art Gallery, said: ‘I have been a supporter of women artists throughout my career. The Mercer has always had a powerful and diverse representation of women artists in its collection and I have built on that. Last year I wrote a book about our women’s art, which includes Eileen Cooper’s print Learning to Fly, 1989, so I sent her a copy of the book. This got us talking and led to Eileen’s exhibition at the Mercer.’

Sometimes described as a magic realist, Eileen Cooper brings an unapologetically female perspective to her subject matter. Her concerns are as relevant and timeless as those of the human spirit itself, encompassing sexuality, motherhood, life and death. Her richly diverse images, simultaneously bold and tender, reveal a range of feeling that is both deeply engrossing and readily accessible, yet still very much part of contemporary art practice. During the exhibition Eileen Cooper will be talking about her work at the Mercer Art Gallery on Monday 17 October 2016 at 2pm. Tickets £7, to book call 01423 556188.


What to expect? Toggle


Jane Sellars

Exhibiting artists

Eileen Cooper RA

Taking part


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