Sue Cooke

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Born in Sydney in 1960, Sue Cooke emigrated to New Zealand withher family as a teenager. She attended the University of Canterbury, graduating in 1984 with a Diploma of FIne Arts with Honours. Cooke began exhibiting her paintings and printed work in Christchurch and in 1987 was awarded a QEII Arts Council scholarship, which enabled her to undertake a study tour to the US,UK, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, where she immersed herself in local art and absorbed the finer points of specific painting and printmaking production techniques. Cooke returned in 1990 to take up a position as Artist in Residence at the SarjeantArt Gallery in Wanganui. Cooke has since divided her career between exhibition, production and tutoring in the arts.

Cooke's work is often defined by her raw and monumental approach to the depiction of landscape. Her attention to the minutiae ofdetail and her mastery of various production techniques allowsCooke to render the evocative aspects of her subjects with stunning clarity: the harsh ruggedness and isolation of central New Zealand springs to life with exceptional vividity inher Ruapehu series, while her Nudes and Nude as a Landscape series explore the contours of the human body as a type of physical topography.

In December 2006 Cooke realised a long-held dream, spending two weeks in the Antarctic drawing, painting and collecting visual material. The first results of her work were exhibited in 2008 as Blizzard in a Dark Landscape and show a pristine and awe-inspiring environment rendered in Cooke's inimitable style as a raw melange of tar-black seas set in stark contrast with the pure white of the snow-blanketed landscape and the resonant turquoise and ultramarine tones of the glacial ice that underpins the entire continent. Such was the depth of her inspiration that Cooke has since completed two further series of works from her journeys to Antarctica.

Cooke lives in Wanganui with her family and continues to produce work for public exhibitions and private commissions alike. Her workis held in major public collections including the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand Embassy in Rome and New Zealand High Commissions in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as local and international private collections.

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