The Art of Cecil Cooper – New works unveiled

The Art of Cecil Cooper – New works unveiled

Written by Editor

Topics: Art & Photography

Art is not all about inspiration. It’s about hard work, which often times goes unrewarded. Mediocrity has no value in art. Art is the business of excellence, and there is greater need for people to invest in the integrity of the artist. Those points made by celebrated Jamaican artist Cecil Cooper were painted in vivid colour on the collective mental canvas of the guests who attended the private viewing of “Recent Works” – his first solo exhibit in five years, at the Mutual Gallery & Art Centre in New Kingston in October.


The occasion allowed media and special guests to glean greater insight into the world of Cooper and his art. The works on display were completed in the last year, and according to the distinguished artist, the exhibition focused on several previously explored ideas, but in a fresh way.

The exhibit featured 20 pieces and was anchored by the Curtain Series – a triptych of acrylic on curtains (“Autumn”, “Lost Time” and “Rising”). Cooper explained that the series opened a new dimension in his art.

“I was doing refurbishing work at home and pulled down some old curtains. I didn’t quite know what to do with them and eventually decided to paint on them. The paintings are hung like how curtains would be hung, and this is a new dimension with the work.”

He noted that in terms of subject, the Curtain Series was autobiographical in a sense, as it captures the past, contemplates the present and anticipates the future. But don’t ask him for a detailed explanation of the triptych; he admittedly would rather people derive personal interpretations from his work and draw conclusions based on their own experiences.

Cecil Cooper stands next to his Curtain Series

“I tend not to want to explain the work to the point where people say, ‘I get it’, because I want you to look at it, and next week when you look at it again, you get something else. I’d like for the work to make a connection, which will mean different things to different people.”

‘Tribute’ for Leonie
The private viewing provided Cooper with the perfect opportunity to present his dear friend Leonie Forbes, esteemed Jamaican thespian, broadcaster and author, with a painting he did specially for her titled “Tribute”.

“Leonie has made an exemplary contribution to the development of art and culture in Jamaica. As such, I wanted to salute her for her work…all that she has done and continues to do for the Arts in Jamaica.”

L-R: Cecil Cooper makes a point to Ruth Ho Shing and Leonie Forbes.

A beaming Leonie Forbes expressed her fondness of the work and stated that she was truly honoured to be recognised by the legendary Jamaican artist. Following the presentation, Aneika Nelson from Hits 92 FM of the RJR Group of Companies walked away with media raffle prize, which was a Cooper painting titled “Longing #2”.

The exhibition, which ended on October 26, was shown in partnership with National Commercial Bank (NCB), Carreras Group, Ideal Portfolio Services, RBC Royal Bank, JN General Insurance Co. Island Mist Spring Water, BCIC, KOOL 97 FM and Wray & Nephew Limited.

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