The following was written by Cori Burton, WPG’s Spring intern from MICA. Rosemary Cooley’s print “The Flu” can be seen in our current exhibition, Impressions from the Press Room. Visitors can also see additional prints by Rosemary in our bins and flatfiles.
Rosemary Cooley’s prints have a wonderful fluidity to them; they embody the flowing, ever-changing spirit of the waters they portray. Using collage elements paired with bold entwining lines, she captures the calm and sometimes chaotic elements of water. One print, entitled Change (2008) depicts water crashing to the surface of a beach. The water is rendered by a cloud of twirling lines, mixing and traveling in and out of one another. This print holds a beautiful contrast to another of her prints, Fresh (2010). This print seems to focus on rippling water, where instead of entwining lines, Cooley has opted for a more harmonious rhythm of lines that flow together in a circular motion. The result evokes a calmer, pondering emotion from the viewer.
Others of Cooley’s prints have a scrap-booking effect to them, due to collage and the juxtaposition of images in the piece. One piece where this is most evident is in Ancient Story (2010). Cooley introduces images of sea creatures and water tiled together in a grid. The outcome is reminiscent of a journal; a recording of an experience in which the creatures were seen and the atmosphere is being kept for memory.
Rosemary Cooley’s prints are very unique. They are very esoteric, in that the message of the print is not quite clear, and perhaps sometimes it is hard to tell what exactly is being depicted. However, at the same time they take the viewer to a familiar place; it’s as if we get the overall idea of the print without knowing everything about it or be able to identify everything shown.