NEST at Daisy Laing Gallery
22 Nov – 3 Dec

A solo exhibition of new drawings and prints by Gillian Cooper, exploring migration, home and belonging through the forms of imaginary and recollected birds’ nests.

This collection of gestural drawings and prints captures the beautiful, architectural and metaphysical qualities of real life nests.  As seen in museum nest collections and field guides, each species of bird shares their own particular genre of nest structure, material and location. Those differences are evidenced through various scales, mediums, surfaces and techniques used for each one.  Portraits of nests, if you will.

In contrast to their beauty, there lies withi the tender vessels many stark, angular lines of carefully woven forms.  Both empty and residual, they evoke an uneasy sense of absence, migration or perhaps evacuation.  Hand drawn expressive marks reference the human nest; the home.  This emptiness can be viewed in the context of the recent global human experiences of forced migration from the war in Ukraine and its inverse, incarceration and isolation inside the home during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Alongside diptychs and series’ of drypoints, monoprints and collagraphs, Gillian’s miniature to large scale drawings repeatedly question the notions of home, migration and belonging and what these might mean to us.

Gillian studied her BA and MA Fine Art in Bristol and Cardiff.  She has exhibited installations, drawings and prints at gallery and site specific locations throughout the UK, including Arnolfini, Bristol, The Exchange and Newlyn Galleries, the ICA London, a large scale temporary installation for Chiltern Sculpture Trail, Oxford and international exhibitions including HDK Berlin, Produzentengalerie Hanover and the Serbian Sculpture Biennale, Pancevo.