12 May – 09 Sep 2007
Citing The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover as one of the major inspirations, ceramicist Jim Cooper crafted a monumental celebrity art piece in the exhibition Sergeant P.
Modelling over 100 toddler-sized celebrity figures from his remote Dunedin-based studio, Cooper created a who’s who of 1960s pop icons, musicians, film stars and royal figures in his colourful, intuitive and frenzied style
Drawing on various influences from the Rolling Stone’s Satanic Majesty’s Request and the music of The Incredible String Band, Cooper has channelled the sixties culture of freedom, youth and psychedelia to create this busy, boisterous3D collage.
In a nod to these fantastical times, Sergeant P is sprinkled with a bizarre bunch of unlikely bedfellows, such as The Queen, Buzz Aldrin, a two legged horse and someone called ‘Palm Olive’.
“There is an edge of naivety in the brightly glazed mass of figures blatantly unaware of their childlike reconstruction, as they posture, elbow and nudge for the front row in that famous album cover,” Cooper says.
“Laurence of Arabia looks positively dehydrated, but Shirley Temple is still looking cute - despite my best efforts – tap shoes and bow in her hair.”
Throughout the exhibition, a variety of workshops were run to incite a feverish wave of Beatle-mania.