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ABOVE 2015 22 kisses 34 x 32 inches acrylic & pencil on canvas
  • LEFT 2015 all i want is you 45 x 45 inches acrylic and pencil on canvas
  • MIDDLE 2015 not far from the sea / not far from the city 34 x 32 inches acrylic and pencil on canvas
  • RIGHT 2015 the space between us 34 x 32 inches acrylic on canvas
  • LEFT 2015 habitat 18 x 34 inches acrylic on canvas
  • MIDDLE 2015 when we drank tea together in london 45 x 45 inches acrylic on canvas
  • RIGHT 2015 west penwith in cornwall 14 x 16 inches acrylic and pencil on canvas
  • LEFT 2015 gravity / relative space 24 x 24 inches acrylic and pencil on canvas

Jessica Cooper

The four corners of the world plus one…

A formula has been drawn up … a framework for her to work within. She has made a line around herself and the world….

The four corners of the world plus one…’plus one’ because you can never get it all in the initial framework….there is always the exception….The anomaly here is case and point.

She told me about this framework months ago…for months I have watched it being filled in  - like a school girl with a colouring book both in the tedious classroom and out on a glorious field trip. She has spent her time painting the canvases she laid out to complete. She has made explicit an inherent part of her professional practice - of setting about the business of producing a body of work….

How does she approach the task? She makes a structure to rein in a seemingly infinite amount of possibilities….in order to focus on a few of them and actually manifest them into paintings…and a show.

She has told me the framework many times, patiently going over it…. excitedly expounding about it, fearfully fretting through it and blazingly triumphing over it…. and yet I struggle simply to remember it.

Here I am now…. at the thin end of the line… on the wire as it were…and I am clumsily trying to fit the puzzle pieces together – to remember the order, the categories – was it  5 canvases in four corners plus one? Or four canvases in 5 corners – were the chairs in the first corner or the last – are the houses in the plus one or the fourth? See how I run….?

But it doesn’t matter really – make of it what you will. The framework is a convention. A hanger to display the garment…the garment is her artful offering – the canvases themselves – the paint, the patience, the insight, the wit, the humour…it is all there in the paintings to see.

She can make as many categories as she likes – she can fill as many corners as it takes…. underlying the garment of canvases, lies the body of her work – the substance of it all: her own being in this world and the mission to take meaning from it, to make meaning of it; and in so doing…becoming more and more the painter that she already is…. painting herself a world that she wants to live in and inviting us to take tea with her there amidst the flowers and the fruit…in a house of our own design…with a love bigger than the world we know already and as big as our imagination can stretch the everyday things that surround us.

She shows us, through this body of work, what a wonderful world this can be when it is illuminated by simple acknowledgement and sheer conviction of the mark that this makes. She invites us to wear it, to live it and to see art in every corner of our world, plus hers.

Dr. RyyA Bread (May 2015)



1985-86    Falmouth school of art : Cornwall : foundation course diploma

1986-89    Goldsmiths : London : ba honours degree : fine art and textiles

selected solo exhibitions

2014    Belgrave gallery : Cornwall

2013    Kestle Barton : Cornwall

2009/11  Hart gallery : London

2007  The Tinney gallery : Cardiff

2006/08/10/12/14    Edgar modern : bath

2004/06/08/10/12/15   The Stour gallery : warwickshire

2001/04/06/08    beyond the sea : Padstow

2001  Newlyn art gallery : Cornwall


selected group exhibitions

2014    sketch : touring uk : selected exhibition : rabley drawing centre

2013    centenary exhibition : thelma hulbert : Dorset

2011    the quality of things : gwynedd museum and art gallery : Wales

2009    double vision : the exchange : Cornwall

2007    art now Cornwall : Tate St ives : Cornwall

2007-15    Belgrave gallery : Cornwall

2006/07    Sherborne house : Dorset

2004-15    RWA : Bristol

2004-15    The Stour gallery : Warwickshire

2000-06/14   critics choice : ( nsa ) : Newlyn art gallery/pz gallery : Cornwall


selected features and eduction

2013-15    Tate merchandise : commissioned designs : Tate St Ives

2012-15    tutor : the Newlyn school of art : Cornwall

2012    artists series collaboration : arbor collective : USA

2007    elected RWA academician

2005-12    elected vice chair : newlyn art gallery and the exchange : Cornwall

2005-08    mentor : Tate St ives graduate scheme

2005    drawing quarters award : uwe : Bristol

1999-2009    freelance artist : Tate St Ives and Newlyn art gallery and the exchange

1996    elected associate member : Penwith society of artists

1995    elected member : Newlyn society of artists ( nsa )


Selected publications

2008-15    catalogues : Nicholas Usherwood/Elizabeth Knowles/ismay Atkins/Ryya bread

2007    art now Cornwall : Tate publishing

2007    St ives 1975-2005 art colony in transition : Peter Davies

2003    catching the wave : Tom Cross : Halsgrove


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