Karen Cooper Gallery

I came across this little gallery while I was out gathering material for assignment three. The Karen Cooper Gallery is a tiny gallery situated on Granville Island in Vancouver. Granville Island is a very artsy place, consisting of a Fine Arts University and many little artists’ studios ranging from painting to silkweaving. Most of the artists also sell their wares there. Karen Cooper exhibits and sells her own work.

She specializes in landscape photography of British Columbia. I was immediately attracted to a print done on canvas which she had displayed in her window, named Winter Reflections. It is a snow scene of a riverbank with a row of birch or maple trees, their branches devoid of all leaves and their reflection in the river. The dominant colour, of course, was white, but there was also a pink and soft green glow emanating through the trees, probably the reflection of a wintery sunset by the snow crystals. The horizontal line of the riverbank and the vertical trees both giving strength and stability to the image, while the colours lend it a fragility and ethereal quality.

Karen Cooper uses a variety of finishes on her work, ranging from acrylic to aluminium and glass prints. I felt some of the post processing work was a little over the top, for example Leaves and Rocks 2.  The grey river rocks’ saturation has been pushed into the blue-green category and does not look natural any more. I live near a river and come across this type of scene fairly often and have never seen wet rocks that colour. Even the leaves are over-saturated, but somehow this seems less of a transgression than the rocks’ colour treatment.

I did like her Hazelnut Orchard – Single Tree photograph. The image of the vase-shaped hazelnut tree placed centre in the photography with symmetrical rows of hazelnut trees on either side, creates a very strong image. The diminishing perspective of the rows of trees disappearing off into the distance, converging behind the centre tree, create a sense of drama and mystery. The colours found are mainly analogous – the dark green of the grass, spotted with yellow-green hues where the sun’s rays break through and reach the grass; the darker green of the shadows of the branches on the ground and of course the hues of the moss on the tree branches. All these greens contrast with the grey mid tones of the trees to the darker grey to black tones of the trees’ trunks in the distance.

Albeit a small gallery, there were many nice photographs to see and the visit proved to be a restful interlude to my assignment work.

Reference List

Cooper, Karen. Leaves And Rocks 2 [online]. Karen Cooper Photography. Available from: http://karencooper.artistwebsites.com/featured/leaves-and-rocks-2-karen-cooper.html [Accessed 26 October, 2014]

Cooper, Karen. Hazelnut Orchard – Single Tree [online]. Karen Cooper Photography. Available from: http://karencooper.artistwebsites.com/featured/hazelnut-orchard–single-tree-karen-cooper.html [Accessed 26 October, 2014]

Cooper, Karen. Winter Reflection [online]. Karen Cooper Photography. Available from: http://karencooper.artistwebsites.com/featured/winter-reflection-karen-cooper.html [Accessed 26 October, 2014]


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