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My work as an artist is interdisciplinary with a strong basis in drawing and the identity of a book and its cultural, social, poetic, or aesthetic functions. Of Scottish, Cuban and Lebanese background my art has focused on the themes of transcultural identity, heritage, diaspora and human rights.
Wax- before casting-will melt with too much heat, Twigs- boats- houses-chairs –structure-life; growing into the future, Sand-shifting-beach, Canvas- shelter, Iron-White mans bark (indigenous reference)-shelter, Drawing (sketchbooks)-‘thinking forms’...a way of expressing thoughts without using language, Perspex- transparent-open, Video- Time, Paper- everyday, paint-Alchemy
Copland’s realisation of his concept via creative material represents a very clear demonstration of visual thinking across a wide range of materials. This works to realise a consolidated objective, that of the idea of materialising migration as art. This is evident through drawing and print media as well as collage, video, animation, installation, sculpture and painting. The artist’s dexterity across media has greatly assisted him in this interdisciplinary strategy and his peripatetic skill base is very tangible. In particular his deftness with paint handling and painting media demonstrates his acumen for expressing the fluidity of thinking through this ambulant medium which for me is also imbued in all the other media as an inter-media. The multi panelled painting installation “Transcultural Wandering” attests to the idea of an ambulant medium instantiated within other media as an interdisciplinary installation crossing painting, drawing, printmaking and collage. The artwork within the Copland’s concept of migration as art becomes part of a chapter of a larger instalment materialising the notion of transient phenomena and requires time to experience. Copland shows his attention to detail in elucidating this multifarious interdisciplinary area conceptually and from an aesthetic understanding. That is being hung as a visual journey for the viewer. The archive has an auto ethnographical quality, a form of self-reflexivity, connecting the autobiographical and personal to the cultural, social and political dimensions of migration. He placed himself at himself in the position of both observer and participant in the field to understand the migrant experience first hand through practice and as an archive. The video work, “Corrugated Sea” is one of the most poignant artworks in the archive, which testifies to Copland’s poetic expression of the contemporaneous changing political and social circumstances on migration. The weathered, iconic corrugated iron material is transformed into a raft shape after Gericault complete with physical and metaphoric gaps. Even the placement of this work filmed on the watery edge of Killcare Beach shows further evidence of this integration of an interdisciplinary attitude and skills base. This inter-media approach can also be seen in the suite of ten paintings entitled, Ashara- Jassim and the Al Faya Café” where Copland explains, “paint allows me the possibility to create a filmic look to the imagery”. The conceptual alignment of art as an archive of shifting notions of migration understood through an interdisciplinary prism galvanises the artist’s creative expertise within a broader social sciences frame of reference and understanding. Copland’s art and practice does not assume any subordinate illustrative position. That is by eschewing any illustration of political or economic or other socio-political disciplinary concerns dealing with migration. Rather this is a creative inquiry elucidated through art as an interdisciplinary philosophical advocacy of migration. In doing so it augments other disciplinary understanding in that area. So in this fundamentally important respect he achieves one of his principle aims to position art as part of an interdisciplinary inquiry into contemporary understanding of migration. Dr Andre Brodyk 2014
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