Revel Cooper

16 May–6 July 2014
John Curtin Gallery
Curated by Julian Goddard

The John Curtin Gallery presents an exhibition examining the career of significant Noongar artist Revel Cooper. A child of the Stolen Generations, Cooper was sent to the Carrolup Native Settlement in the 1940s. Between 1946-1950, under the tutelage of Headmaster Noel White, Cooper began painting and along with his fellow students, achieved international critical acclaim. Cooper’s adult life was blighted by repeated incarceration, but he continued to make art and is acknowledged as being a formative influence on later generations of indigenous artists. Cooper not only produced many of his distinctive works in prison, he taught other inmates, some of whom went on to forge prominent artistic careers. Outside of prison, he is also known to have influenced the style of celebrated artist Lin Onus. Arguably one of the most under-acknowledged of the adult Carrolup artists, this exhibition explores Cooper’s role as a powerful storyteller and a significant political voice, speaking out against discrimination and injustice in an effort to preserve Noongar culture.

Revel Cooper, Untitled c1949, Pastel on paper, 183mm x 247mm
Revel Cooper, Contentment c1949, Pastel on paper, 763mm x 580mm
Revel Cooper, Possum c1949, Graphite, black ink and wax crayon on paper, 562mm x 382mm