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Two but not two

(2007) Two but not two

Record type: Art Design Item


Two But Not Two

The Tunnel Gallery
Tonbridge School

24th April – 12th May 2007

An exhibition of new work by Stephen Cooper and James Cockburn

James Cockburn and Stephen Cooper met and became friends in September 1971 at St Martin’s School of Art where they both were on the Foundation Course. Subsequently they both completed their first degrees in Fine Art at St Martin’s. James immediately began his teaching career and Stephen went on to the Royal College of Art to take his MA. Since then both have been engaged in both teaching and making their own work. At present James is teaching at Tonbridge School where, amongst other projects, he instigated The Tunnel Gallery and Stephen is at Winchester Art College where he is Head of Fine Art. He currently has a show at Southampton City Art Gallery.
Both share a strong sense of playfulness in their work which nevertheless is carefully structured. Their inventions in a variety of materials, with sometimes chance results, puts discovery at the centre of their work. The title of the show indicates the riddle that is at the centre of all creativity.

Stephen Cooper

My work has been concerned with certain aspects of Japanese art, through historic print, architecture, landscape design and particular ideas of artifice. This was originally realised in a trip to Japan three years ago, that culminated in a project at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. This has happily allowed me to pursue these ideas further in this current exhibition. I hope to create a dialogue between the elements of architecture; colour and painting through installation.

In this recent body of work I was motivated by the relationship between Japanese print and contemporary digital printing and an awareness that authentic methods are gradually being replaced by digital processes, often with tawdry results. I use these tawdry results as material for collage; they help to form the work. Reflecting upon Japanese prints of the Floating World and speculating upon their lyrical beauty has given me a basis to form a tangential narrative of images in my work.

James Cockburn

These pots and drawings have been completed in the last two months mostly in France. The work has also been inspired by Japan. In 1995 a visitor from Japan gave me a a ceramic palette and a bottle of shellac ink with beautiful set of brushes. The latter are what I used to decorate the plates and bowls and to make the drawings. I was also influenced by the Zen Buddhist potters whose qualities of acceptance, generosity and a love of nature I much admired. Their pottery has a huge past and a living present which is the envy of many potters from around the world.

I would like to thank once again my colleagues in the Art Department at Tonbridge School for all their help in mounting the show. In particular I would single out Brian Stenning for the speed and professionalism of his frame making. It has been a pleasure to work with them all.
"Two but not Two"consisted of an Exhibition at the Tunnel Gallery,part of
The Tonbridge School, Tonbridge Wells, Kent

This exhibition contrasted two artist work whose work dealt with interconnecting themes dealt concepts of time and nature and also across different ranges of mixed media, which includes painting drawing ceramics.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 2007


Local EPrints ID: 46472
PURE UUID: 939524e4-2d04-4382-89b6-997dbe4c1914

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Mar 2010
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:07

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