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Jim Cooper installation opens at Otago Museum

Otago Museum has started the year with an appreciation for the arts, and internationally recognised artists are now on display and free to the public.

Following the popularity of Areez Katki: Bildungsoman, which was voted one of 2019’s top 50 exhibitions in Australasia, a new installation of work by acclaimed ceramicist Jim Cooper is now on display in the entrance to the People of the World gallery.

Entitled NO. 9: work made in a number nine year, the pieces are different from Cooper’s main body of work. The installation retains his usual exuberance and spontaneity, but veers away from the cartoonish and comical figurines that he is famous for.

“I stay away from what’s right and wrong, or what makes something successful; it's about that period of time, being in there and with the piece …”, said Cooper of the installation’s creation process.

The pieces were conceptualised in Guldagergaard International Ceramics Centre in Denmark, during his 2016 – 2017 residency. Seeing a stack of half-completed clay pieces piled and ready for recycling, he was inspired by their form, and began creating large bauble-like beads in columns. Painted lurid yellows, Burtonesque unsteady black and white stripes, peach, and forget-me-not blues, the works are strung in slipping, unsteady towers.

As with all Cooper’s creations, the installation bursts with an ebullience which spills out, spreading its joy to the viewer.

“We are very excited to have one of Jim’s installations on display here”, said Otago Museum Curator, Humanities, Moira White. “He is one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent ceramic artists, and we are thrilled to be able to share his work with the city of Dunedin.”

“Otago Museum collects and displays ceramics, including New Zealand studio ceramics. Jim Cooper is an internationally recognised ceramic artist and we are pleased to be able to show this new direction his work is taking at the moment” said Craig Scott, Otago Museum’s Head of Exhibitions and Creative Services.

The free installation will be in place until early August, and can be found on the Museum’s second level.