Friday, 11 December 2020

Sara Pakdel-Cherry recalls performing M.Lohrum's participatory work 'You are It'

It hurts.

It really hurts my arm, my right arm.
I am drawing circles in full length of my arm.
It hurts.
My arm feels heavy.
Is my arm dying?
Is it going to fall off?
All these questions circulating in my mind, but I still do not stop.
I cannot stop.
I am in a trance.
Draw, circle, draw, circle. 
Who am I sacrificing my arm for?
Why am I doing this?
This is not me; I want to stop.
Make it stop.
I followed 5 step instructions written by M.Lohrum on the wall.
Who is that?
Secret agency? Government?
Who am I?
Why can't I stop?
It hurts.
It really hurts.

Photo by Eoin Carey

M.Lohrum's participatory artwork You are It 2009 is on show at Cooper Gallery as part of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2020 exhibition. 

Sara Pakdel-Cherry is a DJCAD student. 

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Responses to A Prompt for a Drawing — Postal Art project by Nina Chua

Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2020 shortlisted artist Nina Chua is inviting participates to take part in her Postal Art project A Prompt for a Drawing as part of the events running alongside the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2020 exhibition at Cooper Gallery between 13 November – 19 December 2020.

Participant Responses

Judy Scott

Mary Low

Mary Hayes 

Alison Robertson 

Sarah Davis 

Yoko Isami 

Ruth Richmond 

Peter McCall 

Donna Coleman 

Janine Laporte

Vivienne Dixon, Storm on The Horizon 

Karen Howse

Pat Atkinson

Joanna Saurin

Maria Pearson

Prudence Maltby, Pop Art is a way of liking things. Nina's mark, pencil, Indian ink and collage.

Hannah Feuerstein

Mary Low, Transmission


Sign-up to take part in A Prompt for a Drawing here.

Nina Chua was born in Manchester, UK. She studied at Manchester School of Art and completed her MA in Fine Art in 2011. In 2016 she was selected for the Liverpool Biennial Associate Artist Programme. She predominately works in the field of drawing and has exhibited at, amongst others, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester; Baltic 39, Newcastle; DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague and Workplace Gallery, Gateshead. Her work is held in collection at The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester; The Artists' Books Collection Dundee (abcD), University of Dundee, and Simmons and Simmons Contemporary Art Collection.  

This project accompanies the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2020 at Cooper Gallery, 13 November – 19 December 2020.

Friday, 23 October 2020

Kaya Fraser responds to A is for Avant Garde, Z is for Zero

Shot description and workbook for Riddles of the Sphinx, Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, C. 1977
Installation views, Cooper Gallery 2020. Photos by Kaya Fraser

The Familiar

Lockdown domestic viewing rooms

screens + art, screens + talks, screens + films

screens, you will not find in the stream,

missing and embracing the familiar concurrently

the old familiar doors are open, viewing rooms returned

processes of sharing spaces transparently vail the displays

similarities transpire, drawn from their domestic versions

like private viewing to embrace, the room is yours

I took the room for myself, rejoicing in the carefully curated

inside a vitrine a single side of A4 with typed text, spins in my memory,

the words 'SPHINX' and 'KITCHEN' rekindle,

the domestic and institutional collide

I'm at my kitchen table, I have signed into culture

like every scene, her room, it spins, I look up to my room

stationary I sit, still, the walls move clockwise, eyes closed

the projection of the domestic engrained in the memory


Exhibition invigilators were invited to respond to an aspect of the exhibition A is for Avant-Garde, Z is for Zero

Kaya Fraser is an artist, DJCAD graduate and committee member of GENERATORprojects. Visit her website:

Friday, 16 October 2020

Jamie Donald responds to A is for Avant Garde, Z is for Zero

Kerry Tribe, Here & Elsewhere, 2002. 2-channel video projection. Install view Cooper Gallery 2020. Photos by Jamie Donald. A is for Avant Garde, Z is for Zero: Notes on ‘here and elsewhere’ When I was about seven years old, a teacher made my class do a drawing exercise. She played us a piece of classical music, which we were to listen to, eyes closed, and afterwards draw a picture of what we had seen while it played. I used the provided crayons to try to depict a sort of glowy, vascular, red/pink/orange texture, that sprawled all the way out to the paper’s edges. The teacher asked if I had misunderstood. The image was taken away, and it was suggested that I draw a river with some trees, and maybe a butterfly, instead. At some point last summer I listened to a podcast on colour and language, on language for colour. A linguist discusses an experiment he undertook, that made a test subject of his daughter and her young and spongy mind: he taught her all the colours, but never told her the colour of the sky. The linguist periodically asked her to name the colours of the things in their surroundings, and other than the large (blue) body above she was largely successful. The first time he pointed upwards, she couldn’t see what he was pointing at. Season one of Westworld uses a series of interviews between a robot and her maker to track her gradual ascension to consciousness. The shots flicker between the parent and the child. Dolores - do you ever question the nature of your reality? “It is editing which produces the alternative world which we imagine behind the screen. It is because there are gaps and differences of point of view that we lend this imaginary world extension, time and space.” ** In Kerry Tribe’s ‘Here and Elsewhere’, Peter Wollen asks his daughter Audrey about the nature of images - about truth, perception, reality. He asks if she has seen herself on film, and when she says yes, he asks her who she saw. Moments before, or after, the film-maker asks her if she, presently, is playing herself or being herself. She smiles, like she has been caught. ** Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen’s Index cards from Penthesilea, Queen of the Amazons, 1974.

Exhibition invigilators were invited to respond to an aspect of the exhibition A is for Avant-Garde, Z is for Zero

Jamie Donald is an artist fish enthusiast, DJCAD graduate and committee member of GENERATORprojects and wooosh gallery. Visit her website:

Thursday, 2 April 2020

V. Rivers responds to workshop Rehearsals for the Revolution

Response to Rehearsals for the Revolution
V. Rivers

lies are swallowed down welcoming throats.
It shocks me, so
easy. Now how to respond?

to spit my belly’s fire
scorching earth below this high turret
‘It’s them, you see. Not me, not me.’
Purest tones ring
over fruitless dusty soil
as we all sing along
behind our concrete walls
of fear and hurt

Truth is,
my belly hungers for fruit
more than fire. Now how to respond?

I look inside my burning belly
soothe its heat with the balm
of this moment. Challenge
I break the rocks of my own defences
one by one, spit
dust from my mouth to sing
new songs.
Listen, make
to understand the reasons behind all our defences
Question who profits

Now each time my pain seeks fire
I’ll remember; fruit-filled revolution
requires the fertile soil of

Rehearsals for the Revolution workshops took place as part of Jasmina Cibic's exhibition The Pleasure of Expense, 2019. More info on the workshops and exhibition on Cooper Gallery's website.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Ana Hine responds to the publication Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event?

Reason Escaped Me

Dancing to
Rosas Danst Rosas
By Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker

Under chairs in the psychiatric hospital
Trying to explain feminist art theory
To nurses who were trying to help me
It was all a failure

I missed the actual event
As part of Of Other Places
Where Does Gesture Become Event?
And a presentation I was supposed to give
At the Talking Bodies Conference
On Visual Representations of the Matrixial Zone
I was off, looking for my missing fiancé

Or the exhibition
Body of Work
At Centrespace, Visual Research Centre
Organised with the Student Curatorial Team
With my friend, back then, Fiona Verran
I haven’t seen her since

It’s all a blur
Those months of madness
Trying to explain feminist art theory
To nurses
In psychiatric hospitals
While they were trying to help me
As I searched for my missing fiancé

Reason escaped me

Poems in Response

Page. 167

You told me I couldn't sing
And I couldn't
But I did, in harmony with others around me
A litany
For women artists

Page. 83

It never occurs to me
To ask if there's a creche

Page. 131

I don't own a kitchen table
And if I did I wouldn't sit at it peeling potatoes

Page. 210

Exhibitions like this keep persuading me to stay in the city

Page. 156

Opening up the exhibition
There isn't a guide to switching on
The digital works
I sit and wait for someone
More competent
To show up

Members of Cooper Gallery's Student Curatorial Team were invited to respond to the newly published book (Sternberg Press, 2019).

Ana Hine was a member of the Student Curatorial Team and is a recent graduate from DJCAD with a Masters in Arts & Humanities in August 2019. She is editor of the feminist zine Artificial Womb:

Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? is an annotation and reflection on the two-chapter eponymous exhibition and event project that took place at Cooper Gallery in 2016–17. The core of the publication is constituted by material presented and performed by over thirty thinkers, art historians, artists, writers and poets at the project’s culminating symposium, 12-Hour Action Group alongside important historical texts by Susan Hiller, Mary Kelly, Monica Ross, Annabel Nicolson and others.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Beauty Things | A workshop by JL Williams in response to the work of Anne-Marie Copestake

Writer and poet JL Williams led a writing workshop in response to Anne-Marie Copestake's exhibition Looking in either direction the whole street was filled with people, some singing, moving towards x... at Cooper Gallery 15 March – 13 April 2019. Below are some of the responses.

a set of five poems addressing the speaker on the back wall, left hand side
Jamie Donald


something about all the shades of white nearby
upset the perspective
the wire that connects you
to the rest of the room
appeared momentarily suspended in open space

I see now that the perpendicular line is held
not by gravity, but
by wall and pins
and somebody else’s
eye for detail


you are mostly quiet
and wait your turn
the others seem more
involved, project more

maybe if I sat closer to you
I would hear something else


you are part of a wider discourse
that spans at least the room
it goes on next door
and also downstairs
and hopefully outside


you don’t speak at all really
you hum and you click
or pop
some kind of mouth sound
similar to a pen sound
like the pop of the lid
when you are meant to be writing
but don’t know what comes next


you are a white cube
a grey circle

and otherwise nondescript

Exquisite Corpse

I have a sudden impulse to calculate the number of floor tiles
Everyone was so good looking and fresh in the 90’s
Turning on the spot like a merry go round
Church music starts again
Blue, purple, peach and white paper lies in front of me.
He asked the room awaited an answer to the unspeakable question
An octopus or a railing, a bag of nails…
How can one leg stretch so far?
Nine, five layers, 10 poets? 9 players.

Sat in a circle, paper in the middle, 9 people crumple while I’m thinking about the fiddle,
It would take a lot longer to find, and count, all of the shades of brown
I heard Mark Leckey called the Tate a shit factory whilst sitting on the toilet – it was cut
His service lasted 31 years and for that we’re very grateful
Singing fills the room.
The artwork is shining, blinding my eyes
Nothing lasted as long as it used to, she found peace with that
The way it began, the way it always ends

They are clicking, they are…
I forget what I just told you but know that I meant it
Some of the tiles must be siblings or cousins or themselves
Billy Childish is everything.
Falling… falling… falling in… falling in…
Can’t stop looking at the chipped mug with roses [/noses]
Strong and sweet liquorice is what I crave.
There was nothing left to do, everything had yet to begin.
A hopeful brightness… sensation…

In my mind the birds can’t stop flapping their wings….
Arr! That light is brightly burning in my eye!
Production lines are never straight lines, but they never seemed like circles.
Like the sausage rolls I imagined I was as a child
I loved the video with the ceiling and the soft flowers
When I hear things like those my heart swells and throat aches
Suspense sounds.
I want to go home now.
A little unsure always.

Something that has yet to be spoken of, an elephant in want of a room.
Holy and shining, the water never stopped falling…
Hm, hmhm, hm, hum hum hum… [note symbol]
Lost in numbers, trying to share a letter, scribbles keep on while the sound gets better.
I am glad to have tempered my empathy
New erotics and corn fed egotism
And I’m never going back to that place
[indecipherable] Too many thoughts
The end.

This room is making me thirsty.
A breath hitched in their throat as the door revealed more than a cool breeze, he had arrived.
A sequence of pink bubbles and iridescent pillars…
One cool chair, the other is just a chair
The sound left but we’re all still here.
To the point that looking at the floor doesn’t fill me with tragedy
The air in here smells sweet
So don’t worry, because it happens to the best of us
The paper will be unfolded now.

The music sounds like we are in a church.
I keep seeing red today. It’s warning.
Sunflowers seemed to shrink that day, never had summer seemed so sombre
Only the millionaires will remember the time of the llamas…
I only know 2, now I know 1, soon I will leave.
Will there be enough for this.
And imagining their perspective can be a distanced task.
Hand delivered letters
And to all a good night!

Hard floors make your body against them flat
The room is filled with sound of letters being passed through
We are starting to write faster and faster.
Looking out the window, a calm epiphany came to her
In situ or out, we couldn’t bear to recede…
Is he gonna steal the art?
We’re just about a round, sat circular, shepherded by sound.
Though I sit very close, knees and elbows pressed into them
Nine people writing spherically

Humming and clicking – I will miss the sounds later when I can’t remember the rhythm
Like the feeling of wetness after rain’s fallen
A man with a bag just walked through the door
This ink smells against the rules but nice.
The sky was grey with worry.
Not because she could not love, but because the light was so perforating…
That wall is too white.
‘Exit’ says something to me…
I feel very little, but an impulse to count.

Looking for you I walked through the gallery with a pen in my x…
JL Williams

I’m not
I don’t wanna
What’s not write
To swallow

                  The perforated shadow on the wall
                  The outline of her headphone-clasped head

Absorb contemporary drift

                  Three women writing with authority
                  On the gallery floor, rocking

Egomaniacal lap-dancing
                  Laid down
                  Sat on a wooden bench
                  In a triangular shadow

And shit

                  Light split by a concrete
                  Brick-like wall

Art galleries
Car park

                  Beyond the headphones his voice beyond his voice her voice beyond her voice her voice beyond her voice…

Beauty Things | A workshop by JL Williams
22 March 2019

Beauty Things was organised by artist and DJCAD Professor Tracy Mackenna and took place within and in response to Anne-Marie Copestake's exhibition 
Looking in either direction the whole street was filled with people, some singing, moving towards x... at Cooper Gallery 15 March – 13 April 2019.