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Lorraine Cooke Abstract artist

Lorraine Cooke biography

Born Norwich, UK.

Cooke graduated from Norwich School of Art and Design in 2003 with a BA(hons) in Fine Art (now Norwich University of the Arts) and Northampton University in 2011 with an MA in Fine Art. Since graduating Cooke has been working as a professional artist and curator.

In 2004 she was shortlisted for the Babylon gallery Award for an emerging artist (ADEC award- Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire, UK) and was also selected to exhibit at the fringe of East International. The artist exhibits both nationally and internationally. In 2006 she was selected for the 2nd Open Competition Exhibition at Byard Art Gallery, Cambridge (selected by the former Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum), Cambridge. Cooke’s talent was acknowledged after completing an AA2A residency (Artists Access to Art school- national residency scheme) at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA), when her work was published in a-n magazine and she was awarded the coveted title- AA2A Artist of the Year 2009. Following this success Cooke was offered the position of Assistant Director and Art Consultant of Art1821 gallery, where she had the opportunity to curate Rebirth, (a major international exhibition in collaboration with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and culture and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts). Cooke was presented with the Cyprus Bonarota Award in achievement of a series of paintings made in response to Cyprus during 2010/ 2011. She is featured by Saatchi art as an Artist of recognition with work included in the Inspired by Miro Saatchi collection. Cooke initiated and led a number of projects in Cyprus for the Paphos European Capital of Culture 2017 programme and continues to develop her own practice with a focus on the cultural influences of this experience. She was shortlisted for the Artzine Art prize in 2018. Cooke's work has been recently published in Random Sample literary journal (US) and The Critical Fish Art and culture journal (Hull, Capital of Culture, UK.) Her work was on exhibition at Peterborough Museum as part of the Vivacity Open Exhibition 2019.

“I have been developing works surrounding the genre of landscape. My work seeks to address the importance of landscape painting within the current nature of debate centring on the breadth of accepted contemporary practice that it remains to be a valid currency within the parenthesis of visual language. ” ― Lorraine Cooke
The AA2A project is a national set of schemes, providing visual artists and designer makers with the opportunity to undertake a period of research or realise a project, using workshop and supporting facilities in fine art and design departments of Higher and Further Education institutions. Students of such institutions benefit from working alongside, and interacting with professional practising artists and makers. Lorraine Cooke tutored both undergraduate and postgraduate students on Fine Art courses during her residency where she developed a series of works within the etching printmaking department. Cooke went on to curate an AA2A exhibition at Mandells Gallery, Norwich.
“I am exploring notions of human relationship with the environment, developing ideas within the context of ‘inscape.’ I have used the banana plantations of the Cypriot villages of Lemba and Kissonerga as a vehicle to communicate a psychological response to landscape. The banana plantations of these villages are of interest to me for several reasons, this agricultural landscape was completely new to me on arrival to Cyprus, my personal discovery of this landscape suggested concepts of the ‘uncanny’- a Freudian concept of an instance where something can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange. ” ― Lorraine Cooke

Lorraine Cooke Artist statement

Many of my works explore a disjointed world of amorphous forms which ominously elude to landscape and evoke atmosphere. The spacial composition owes much to the work of Max Ernst highlighting the influence of the Surrealists on my work at large.

My investigation has been set with a focus on ‘real engagement’ with this landscape to explore the notion of ‘spirit of place.’ I have worked directly in the plantations producing studies and photographic works which were then brought back into the studio and developed further in the paintings. The effect of the light in the plantations and absence of it contribute to the sense of the ‘uncanny’ and greatly impacts the experience of being in this landscape at changing times of the day. I have therefore used light as a vehicle to traverse both concepts of the ‘uncanny’ and ‘inscape’ within the genre of landscape, anchoring my visual language concerns within a long- standing history of painting.

Ciphers II, 2018 - Lorraine Cooke

Ciphers II, Lorraine Cooke at  Virtosu Art Gallery
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