Edwina Cooper is an Adelaide based artist producing kinetic sculptural and installation works. Her practice is influenced by her experiences as a sailor, with a continued interest in the methods for human experience and interaction with oceanic thresholds.
For Submerge, Cooper’s approach has focussed on her engagement with water spaces - more specifically the boat as a mediator of oceanic experience. As a result, her investigation has more closely examined ideas of 'decay / corrosion' and 'loss of purpose' of a boat when removed from it's intended water-based environment.
The eight drawings presented are an extrapolation of the idea of the boat as a human contrived space, which loses functionality and sense of endeavour when returned to land. These works were initially inspired by seeing a number of boats in paddocks during the artist’s travels through New Zealand in 2019. These boats were either rotting or repurposed - all while being propped up by makeshift timber or concrete blocks. Cooper refers to these sights as a kind of ‘landwreck’.
The sculptural piece, titled ‘Landwreck 1’, has been created in response to these drawings. The work consists of old rigging and aims to present itself in a similar 'functionless' form. In translating this concept to the 3D, there are some slippages where land based necessities and gravity take hold. This work has become a processed based exercise - through making attempts at 'securing' this 'boat' in a foreign place, whilst grappling with and accepting it's decay as a contrived ‘landwreck'.
The artist book has been formed with two indeterminate chapters in mind, and aims to ‘catalogue’ and directly reflect on the artist’s embodied water based experiences. The first ‘chapter’ focuses on human systems imposed on water spaces and our interaction with these. The second ‘chapter’ is concerned with human inferiority in the face of oceanic immensity and the giving of ourselves over to this inevitable force.
Edwina Cooper, 'Artist Book' (digital version), 2020, Marine ply, marine varnish, whipping twine, various papers and inks, graphite, microwood sheet, dacron sailcloth, sailmakers thread, spinnaker cloth, acrylic sheet, salt water, Edition of 12. Hard copy $180 each.