The paintings of Julia Cooper convey a sense of working from memories of a place but also memories and observations of objects and materials such as the worn layers of paint on the hull of a fishing boat, or the weather-battered stonework of a harbour wall. Julia’s paintings are built up through many layers of paint, oil stick and charcoal, and like the surfaces of the harbour walls and the cliff edges, these are often partially scraped back to reveal a history. The enjoyment of the materials that she uses and the simple profundity of mark-making is as important as the subject of each painting – the technique is the content.
Jane Wheeler’s ceramics reflect the same ideas of age and history through the building of layers in her distinctive technique. Through the development of each vessel, Jane adds a combination of coarse grog, slips, oxide and chun glazes to the slab-built structures, exploring surface textures and a history to each piece.
This is an exhibition that takes hold of very traditional subjects – still life, landscape, bottles and vessels, and uses these themes to express a unique and personal response - both of these artists have acknowledged the notion of their subject and have gone on to truly explore their main focus: their enjoyment and mastery of their respective materials.