'Familiar domestic objects have always been central in my paintings, as has the spectacular landscape of West Cornwall'. This is the opening statement on the invitation card for Jessica's exhibition of New Paintings at the Stour Gallery, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, with whom she has been exhibiting regularly for a number of years.
Jessica was born in Bristol but the family moved to Cornwall when she was an infant and she was brought up in the small Penwith hamlet of Trevowhan. She attended Penzance Grammar School for Girls, Truro School before her art studies began with a Foundation course at Falmouth School of Art, and then continued at Goldsmiths College of Art, London. There she completed a degree in Fine Art and Textiles followed up with wide-ranging travel in Europe and the USA. She then returned to Cornwall where she presented her first solo exhibition at the Bread Street Gallery, Penzance, progressing through the years to exhibit both nationally and locally in mixed and solo shows. She is a member of the NSA and also of the Penwith Society. She has served for a number of years on the Council of Management of NAG/The Exchange, Penzance.
In 2007, Jess published a boxed set (limited edition of 500) of her images, ranging from paintings to photography, which provided a good opportunity to view the general scope of her work. Selected that same year for inclusion in the Tate St Ives exhibition, Art Now Cornwall, she was described as creating 'strong, almost sculptural sense of design, reminiscent particularly of William SCOTT with whom she shares an affinity for line and categorisation'.
Sarah Stoten of the Stour Gallery who regularly exhibits Cooper's paintings comments: 'She paints with the same lean economy that underpins the environment of Cornwall's Penwith peninsula. Nothing is redundant, and she knows when just the suggestion is sufficient.'
Jessica maintains her present studio in the complex belonging to the Newlyn School of Art where she also teaches (2012).
Painter of domestic subjects, landscape and everyday objects in acrylic, pencil, pen
works and access
Access to works: WCAA files
Hypatia Collection of Women' Artist's Cards, 2007 + 4 works)
Stour Gallery, Shipston on Stour
2007: Selected for Art Now Cornwall Exhibition, Tate St Ives 3 Feb-13 May
2011: 'Jessica Cooper, A Place to Be' Hart Gallery, Islington, London 5-25 May
2012: 'Life without Words' Stour Gallery, Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire (March)
2013: 'Fixtures and Fittings' Kestle Barton, Manaccan 30 Mar-2 June
2013: Newlyn Art Gallery - Newlyn School of Art Tutors Fundraising Exhibition (24 Oct-2 Nov)
2014: Belgrave St Ives - 'About Home' (9-28 June)
2016: Belgrave St Ives - 'One Divided by Two' (28 May-20 June)
2016: Winter Collection Exhibition, Cornwall Contemporary, Penzance (Dec 2016-Feb 2017)
2018: It Doesn't Take Much To Make Me Happy,Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Penzance (29 Mar-29 Apr)
2018: The Intimate Landscape, Belgrave St Ives (8-29 Oct)
2019: Winter Exhibition, Tremenheere Gallery, Gulval, Penzance (16 Feb-24 Mar)
2019: Tremenheere Gallery, Gulval, Penzance (27 April-19 May)
2020: Reflecting Images, Belgrave St Ives (May - online)
2021: Fantastic Flowers & Small Houses, Belgrave St Ives (6-30 Aug)
NSA; Penwith Society; RWA
misc further info
Brittain, Sarah and Cook, Simon (2001) Behind the Canvas, 40 Artists working in West Cornwall;
Cross (2002) Catching the Wave: Contemporary Art & Artists in Cornwall 1975 to present day (pp188-9)
Hart Gallery (2011) Jessica Cooper, A Place to Be, illus col cat
F Ruhrmund (2012) 'There's no painting quite like a Jessica Cooper painting' Cornishman, Thurs 22 Mar (with photo)
Cornwall Today (Oct 2018) 'The Intimate Landscape' by Mercedes Smith