MA (Hons) Fine Art, Edinburgh College of Art
I have works from when I was about 15 that would prove that absolutely nothing has changed in the time I’ve been doing my course! I am still captivated by visual representations of animals, I still manipulate images, and my style is still surreal, slightly gloomy, and pop.
However, I never would have predicted all the collaborations, performances, technologies, and so much more that I have tried out throughout this degree that have become part of my practice as a whole.
I take and find pictures which I then digitally slice, stretch, and draw on. Sometimes I print them out, or recreate them in real life, but most of the time I just post them online, working at a rapid pace and trying to make new images daily. Working like this in a constant stream of production has meant that the meaning of the images develops and changes as I do.
As I learn new theories or skills, hear new music, engage with different politics, or have my heart broken, every little detail tends to influence the imagery that comes out. I think everyone does this – everyone’s choices shape the decisions that impact their thoughts, jobs, and relationships – I just use my work to explore how this everyday occurrence is more than often mediated through a screen.
I struggled when proposing my degree show. After a few discarded ideas, I decided it would be better to do something in the manner that I actually work. I am hoping to create a series of scenes in the style of my images, a different one for every day of the degree show. Each scene will only be on display for a couple of hours before being replaced the next day. The intention is that perhaps the audience will take a picture of the scene and give the physical scenario a new life/meaning as an image, even when it no longer exists in reality.
I have been at art school for five years now and watched the same drama, joy, jealousy and successes repeat every year at the time of degree show. I want to go through all these ridiculous emotions because it’s hard to tell when or whether you’ll ever be in this kind of creative community again.
My best friend and I have always fantasized about being the kind of artists that just fell into being an artist. Perhaps we thought this route was more authentic. Now that we are at the end it seems like the question is more ‘are you going to fight to maintain the creative lifestyle you love and have become used to?’ Maybe. I guess it depends whether we fall into it or not.
Degree show: 2-10 June. www.eca.ed.ac.uk
1. Robert Cooper, Self explanatory.
2. Robert Cooper, Wear it with honour // It’s free with your first order.
3. Robert Cooper, 2014 Rob meet 2018 Rob.