Diana Cooper & Hew Locke

Diana CooperOrange Alert 2003 and ongoing



An exhibition of new commissions by Diana Cooper and Hew Locke, whose practice is characterised by the act of drawing moving off the page and into three dimensions.

In an exciting new departure Diana Cooper made Orange Alert, a room-sized installation, a response to the terror alert colour coding system. Most of Cooper's works activate the interface between the second and third dimension and in doing so embrace the terms of reference of painting, sculpture and installation. Her process – probing and circuitous – and the finished works – resembling architectural models and circuit boards – address feelings of information overload, vulnerability, loss of orientation and the compression of time and space experienced in contemporary life.

Diana Cooper was born in 1964 and lives in New York City. She has shown extensively in Europe and the United States, with solo exhibitions at Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles and Postmasters, New York, in 2005.

Hew Locke's recent iconographic works of Royalty festooned with plastic guns, swords, lizards, spiders and flowers have gained him considerable attention. Locke's commission for The Drawing Room explored the cross-over between these works and earlier cardboard pieces such as Cardboard Palace (2002) and Hemmed In (1999). These vast sculptures were constructed from overlapping planes of packing-case cardboard whose surfaces were covered with drawn gestures using a knife, black marker and white paint.

In the new commission another trademark of Royalty – the Coat of Arms – becomes a cut-out embellished with corrugated plastic, its details delineated in sequins and fabric trim. These works reflect Locke's interest in exploring the notion of invented or constructed culture which stems from his upbringing in post-colonial Guyana, with its clash of cultures and styles.

Locke was born in 1959 in Scotland, lived in Guyana from 1965 to 1980 and now lives in London. Solo exhibitions include Chisenhale Gallery, London, (2002), Luckman Gallery, Los Angeles, which travelled to the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, (2004) and forthcoming The New Art Gallery,Walsall.

This exhibition is a collaboration with the Centre for Drawing at Wimbledon School of Art. It is supported by a 40-page publication with colour plates and a text by Dr Jon Wood, Research Co-ordinator, The Henry Moore Institute. It will tour to The City Gallery, Leicester, 12 March – 16 April '05 and to Chapter Art Gallery, Cardiff 28 May – 10 July '05.

Supported by Arts Council England, London, The Henry Moore Foundation, The Elephant Trust, The Foyle Foundation and Wimbledon School of Art