Rod Cooper (born 1967, Australia) is an instrument builder, performer, sound and multi-media artist. Rod Cooper’s first adventures into sound started while studying sculpture between 1985-1988. The noisy environment of metal workshops with the sounds of construction was where he realized the potential of a traditionally visual medium to become musical.
He became a successful furniture designer, manufacturer and retailer during 1990’s, creating works for domestic and international markets. The workshop has remained at the heart of his creative expression and enabled him to continue building original instruments.
Rod has spent over two decades exploring the sonic qualities of metal and experimental recording techniques.
He has worked with the Nownow festival, MONA FOMA, Undue Noise, What is Music festival, Unsound festival, National Gallery of Victoria, Institute of Modern Art Brisbane, Liquid Architecture, Make it Up Club, Stutter, State Library of Queensland, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Room 40, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Melbourne Fringe, Powerhouse Museum in Brisbane, Articulating Space, Heide Museum of Modern Art, and the City councils of Melbourne, Marackville, Yarra, Castlemain, Geelong, and Cork.
His artistic statament: "I am a sculptor who loves to paint; my paintbrush follows my chisel. The act of creating art for me is very physical, which is something instilled in me from my formal education as a sculptor. My choice of material to paint on is wood, a solid medium with natural tactile qualities.
The textures I carve reflect natural structures. My tools gouge into the tightly packed fibres of the timber substrate. With each mark I build a new terrain of light and shade.
Every work is a journey that I take while searching inside the possibilities of texture. Sometimes I will work from memory, and at other times I’ll work directly from the landscape itself. I play around with the perception of space and the difficulties of perceiving the scale of a depicted landscape, when there is no horizon line. By omitting the horizon line from the picture plane the viewer is free to imagine the scale relationship between the human body and the landscape.
Warm tones are often my preferred hues. Red uniformly renders forms and surfaces. Yellow bounces objects around in space and Orange slows the movement of eyes across a surface, giving a grounded appearance to an object. When painting with darker tones my work is based on observations made during the twilight hours, which can be very extensive in Australia due to our latitude on the planet.
My paintings can be viewed from more than one position and usually in portraiture orientation. I encourage the eye and body to roam over the object’s surface from various angles. I enjoy the way that the structure of the carving creates various tints from one colour. For me, colour and form are inseparable".
Releases on 3LEAVES:
Accepting The Machines (2010)