Week 12 – Artist Interview – Timothy Cooper

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For Week 12 we looked at pieces ranging from ceramics to illustration to printmaking to photography. I decided to focus on the work of Timothy Cooper. The unofficial title of the piece is “Something that means Something”. Timothy’s piece includes 145 hand-thrown plates produced using stoneware clay and a “satin glaze fired to just above 2250 degrees Fahrenheit. Timothy’s stated goal for this piece was to have it “bear witness to the ability of multiple individuals to work together to produce a positive personal, social and aesthetic experience.” He goes on to talk about the changing roles of objects/materials from stictly utilitarian to perhaps something more symbolic, like being used in an art exhibit, for example. I like pieces that use household or common objects in a way that we maybe aren’t used to. Even though these plates were produced specifically for this exhibit (as well as for a celebratory event in October), they just as easily could have been rounded up from people’s houses. My first thought was that it had some religious overtones, judging by the cross-like layout of the plates, though perhaps that was just my mind looking for patterns. Nevertheless, being a physical/environmental geographer (sustainability, recycling, etc.), I keep going back to Timothy’s point about all objects at one time having some utility to either a person or group, before perhaps being recycled and reused for other purposes down the line. I look forward to hopefully seeing more work from Timothy in the future!

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