Rock Paper Rock – John Cooper

Any Colour You Like


Rock Paper Rock.
Monoprints by John Cooper

September 14 – 30, 2013

Opening reception and John’s going away party: Saturday, September 14, 7pm onward

The action of retaining memory is, at its simplest form, a chemical process. It involves neurotransmitters and receptors which imprint a chemical signal onto a cell in the brain. Active long term memory is dependent upon the strength of a stimulus encoded in the brain and is often associated with an emotional response, among other things. The images in this collection are of fossilized insects. The titles of the prints are all songs from my recent and distant past, which have played a significant role in pivotal points of my life.

Music has always been a very important part of human culture and is deeply etched into the mores of human civilization. It is a very potent force and hearing a particular song can evoke a strong emotional response. Music has an intimate link with emotion and can instantly throw one back to a time and place long passed on the chronological time line, not unlike a time machine (if one existed) or porthole to the past.

A fossil is also like a time machine of sorts, in that the fossilized insect is a living record of the day of its death millions of years ago. It is virtually unchanged, except that the fragile chemical compounds, proteins and insect fragments have now been transformed into minerals: rock. That is, through the process of fossilization, the organic elements of the insect have now become mineralized on a cellular level, which is also a chemical process.  Like the chemicals imprinting memories in the brain, the minerals have imprinted the memory of the insect into the rock.