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Artist Watch: Anna Cooper

Anna Cooper is one of my dearest friends at Judson University. Her innate ability to say something insightful, yet side-splittingly amusing makes for wonderful conversation. She is also one heck of an artist. I had the privilege of shooting this with her a few weeks back and it was a great afternoon.

This was her brilliant explanation of the gallery:

Through the process, I come to an understanding of God’s grace and an acceptance of imperfection. The first step in the process is to discover an object; an object that reminds me of something I treasure or possess, or an object that I enjoy purely for aesthetic or functional reasons. The second step in the process is to destroy the object past reconciliation.

The third step is to restore the object to what it used to be. However, the most important part in this entire process is coming to terms with the unachievable task of perfect restoration. When the object is glued and manipulated back into its original form, it bears the scars and marks of its suffering. I do not cover up these marks. These become a part of its new exterior, creating a visual past.

Throughout the process, I document each step: the piles of pieces, shards of wood, broken screws, twisted wires, exposed interiors, the assortment of pieces, the classification of parts. Through documentation I come to understand the object for more than I knew it before. I become intimately involved with how the piece was originally created and I begin to enjoy the different parts. The pieces that make up the whole have now become more interesting and unique – set apart yet collective by nature. By understanding the individual pieces, the restoration is made easier throughout the process.

The more I create, the more I understand my own pain, others pain, and the suffering and injustice I encounter daily. It is through the act of reconstruction that I find joy in the small and intricate, overlooked details – sometimes mistaken as blemishes. Ultimately, through this process, I strive to build a comprehensive understanding of grace and redemption, and a final hope of eternal restoration and perfection with the Creator and his Creation.