Artist Statement "Holocene"
These paintings are about the movement and change that occurs in a day. From first light through to dusk and the paths of our daily lives. Periods of blossoming and light, to darkness and solitude. I am interested in the perfect nature of change and trying to find balance amongst the growth.
Holocene is a geological era which began at the end of the ice age and we are in at present, it is a time of warming and growth.. It comes from the Greek words (halos, entire or whole) and (kainos, new) meaning entirely new.
The Holocene also encompasses within it the growth and impacts of the human species world wide, including all its written history and overall significant transition toward urban living in the present.
It is also the name of a song by Bon Iver on an album I have listened to a whilst painting this series. Justin Vernon explains, “ the title is a metaphor for when your not doing well. But it’s also about redemption and realizing that you’re worth something; that you’re special and not special at the same time”.
Stuart Cook - biography
Stuart studied painting and sculpture from 1989-92 at the College of Fine Art, Sydney.
After exhibiting in group shows at Arthaus Gallery in 1991 and a joint exhibition with Sally Adair at the Bondi Pavilion in early 1993, he opened Sun Cow Design Gallery at King Street, Newtown.
Sun Cow Gallery ran from 1993 to 2007, Stuart was founder and creative director. Sun Cow produced one off sculptural pieces of furniture in recycled timber and upholstery. Stuart constantly exhibited sculptures and paintings throughout this period selling in excess of three hundred paintings alone. This grew into a company which sold off the gallery floor and did a lot of commercial and domestic commissioned based work. During these years Stuart exhibited in Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney and won sculpture awards in the South Coast Sculpture exhibition.
Sun Cow was also commissioned to work with architects on creating the chapel of remembrance at Garden Island for the Australian Navy.
Stuart spent two years working part time as a sculpture teacher at Bundanon, the Arthur Boyd art education centre on the south coast when he moved the Sun Cow workshop to Berry NSW.
In 2007 he was employed by Opera Australia to design and make Gaudi style furniture for the production of The Barber of Saville.
From 2008 to present Stuart has worked as a Design and Technology and Visual Art teacher at Sydney Grammar School.