Monday 18 July 2016

DOUG COCKER at House for an Art Lover, GLASGOW

I first wrote about DOUG COCKER in 1983. He was one of 10 sculptors in an important  show called Built in Scotland which opened at Glasgow's 3rd Eye Centre before going on to London's Camden Arts Centre. At that time Cocker was 38 & teaching at Aberdeen's Grays Art School.
My review was not kind. I rated the show as "lacklustre, heavy, dull, repetitive, old hat, boring."   Heavens ! 
Happily by 1986 I was calling his ten yr retrospective 1976-86  a "Mayfest brightspot success - well displayed, full of good work & even with a sense of humour.'  
Cocker left teaching in 1990 - a brave move, and since then has created many large scale public sculptures. 

The current show in the 2 yr old Studio Pavilion at Bellahouston's House for an Art Lover is sheer Cocker & a delight.
He has a way with wood which can be both serious or playful, ominous or light-hearted. He covers a wide swarth of shapes, weights, forms & techniques across 2 walls which hold his so-called Swamp sculptures - 40 dramatic pieces configured from wood, twine, leather, hessian & metal, some free-flowing, curved, chunky or jagged; others restrained, boxed black or white. 
In contrast Slow Years, a grid of 16 squares adorned with leaf shapes or twigs in spring or autumnal colours has a joyful air while Fast Landscape & Rain evoke nature at her fleeting, lyrical best. 
Big Rain

Last some endearing & wacky geometrics titled Electric City, 'bright, strong & vertical.' 
A great show - the only thing missing for me are Cocker's dynamic energetic working drawings - which I just love. Free & open 11-4pm, till 14th August. . 

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