I do not have a Fine Arts trained eye but I know a good craftsman when I see one…
Doug Cocker’s exhibition “Swamp and Meadow” is at The Art Park @ The House for an Art Lover Glasgow and its full of beautifully hand-crafted objects.
I am not familiar with the work of Doug and I did not get the whole meaning of “flowering pasture” and so … on but I was left marvelled with the beautiful master craftsmanship with which Doug handled the wood, metal, leather and twine. His work is reminiscent of that of the great craftsmen of yesterday. I can imagine the wood been caressed and shaped by old tools on a workbench that smell of fresh herb and the sound of an old radio in the distant background. On the floor some fine grain sandpaper discarded mixed with wood shaving.
For me Doug’s exhibition is a whole come back to the basic, hand made it is … slowly and beautifully.
Ok when you look at the objects they are sculptures and I could not identify a single one of them on the “Swamp” but if you look quickly you feel you are facing a wall of old tools, objects, made in the country, something local no? Tangible, rare in today’s world…Is that not what Doug meant to do ? Because that is what I see… I can just about close my eyes and hear the wind in the willows in the background.
I loved the slowly achieved paint finishes and combinations of shapes of the 16 squares of the “Slow Years”. I spend my a good deal of my working life looking at faded paint finishes in refurbished centenary buildings. Time is a great achiever of faded looks. Slowly rubbing down crimson in pale pinks and colored layers of different era merge in an harmony of colours complimenting each other in complete chaos. Doug’s squares marvelled me and I would have been standing there taking every detail in for hours … But the gallery was closing ! I had to go.
I hope you enjoy it.