Nicole Cooper

St Louis, Missouri, US

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Woven in Time (Triptych)


Oil on Canvas
60 x 120 inches

Though “Woven in Time” has many meanings to me, I believe it expresses resilience in the human spirit and an underlying warning about our impact.

Humans are connected biologically and spiritually through generations. My 10-foot wide painting invites the viewer to stand alongside a wave of life-sized, interconnected figures—each woven together by brushstrokes—rolling forward in time. While painting, I was thinking about the passage of DNA. Every human today is genetically woven into our time and place after all those who came before us… all the way back even to prehistoric humans.

Imagine the hardships humanity has faced through millennia. Ice ages, disease, disasters. Yet we persist as humans to the core, much of our success coming from our big brains and adaptable nature. There are times when our ancestors have lived in harmony with nature and, more recently, at the expense of it.

As the wave in my painting suggests, humanity can also be a growing, unstoppable force moving into darkness. We must be mindful of our impact—an impact made all too clear now that WE’VE pushed NATURE’S resilience to the brink.

I believe hope lies in our human adaptability. We are lucky at this moment to have the time (however short), technology, and self-awareness to choose to change course. Creating a vision like “Woven in Time” allows me to see myself as a part of a larger, connected system. To grow my awareness about the wisdom of our ancestors and think about generations to come. How do we build resilience in our communities with a generational mindset that resonates with our natural world?
2022
  • Nicole Cooper

Refuvescence Series

Mixed media on paper
14 x 11 inches each

The term "Refuvescence"—coined by the Bureau of Linguistical Reality's collaborative climate change dictionary project aimed at creating a new vocabulary for the Anthropocene—is rooted in compost. It defines one interpretation as "A collective moment of transformation when what seems mired, foul and utterly messed up in a society turns, as if by magic, into a progressive and uniting force. Where rotting structures and ideologies are turned or composted into fertile ground for new growth."

A running cultural narrative I've noticed is the belief that people are unable to change. As if our human-built systems are so big that they are out of our control, leaving us stuck with the status quo. Like much of my work, this Refuvescence series is inspired by my belief in the human capacity for change. My experimental paintings each begin with dabs, drops, and splops of random, clashing colors of wet pigment that pool inside the shape of a human form. Out of the mucky pool I work with brushes and watercolor pencil to coax the pigments into an active, blooming surface. Like compost, each human figure transforms into something vibrant and new.

@thebureauoflinguisticalreality Refuvescence (AKA: The Werring, To Wormdazzle) definition.
2021
  • Nicole Cooper

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