Dr Richard Shortland Cooper Profile 2018

In 2004, Dr Richard Cooper was a graduate of the Elam School of Fine Arts being one of only 5 people in the world to graduate with a Doctor of Fine Arts. He was the Head of Department for the renowned Buck Nin School of Fine Arts, Te Wananga O Aotearoa for 5 years.

Cooper exhibits around the world; he has also been commissioned to create several high profile Art works and sculptures around New Zealand on an Epic scale. One of the works that he is most famous for is the iconic Manukau Millennial Sculpture which stands 11metres tall, weighing a mammoth 71.3 tonnes. He received the National Creative place award for the artwork, which stands adjacent to one of New Zealand’s busiest intersections receiving more than 46,000 views per day.

His career spans across the globe having exhibited and worked in sculpture symposiums in France, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, Japan, Hawaii, Australia and the USA.

A skilled project manager, Dr Cooper is an expert in logistics and is experienced in all aspects of design, manufacture and installation of large scale art works in high human traffic areas. “Risk management extends from installation through to the life of the Artwork, the public must be safe to interact around the piece for years to come, this is an important part of the project management process, as well as delivering to the client a project that is on time and most importantly within budget” he says.

“It’s important that the artwork compliments and acknowledges local history and links the work to its people, past, present and future, standing as a beacon to those who enjoy it.” Cooper remarks.

His public projects have received high levels of exposure; Cooper has extensive experience in Public Relations, Marketing and Promotions. Making several Television appearances, with extensive press coverage and publications. “A vital part of the unveiling process is providing great PR for the Client, especially where significant public investment is involved. Maximising the investment for the client is paramount for us” He said.

Much of his work reflects his belief in healthy lifestyles. Dr Cooper’s current work with the Papakura Marae provides a vehicle for him to fuel his passion to educate people with Diabetes.

Some of his latest commissions have been Manurewa Intermediate School Marae, Gateway and Fale. The new milk factory named Yashili at Pokeno, and the Vodafone Event Centre new Vector Wero White-water Park where he with Ted Ngataki local Kaumatua (Tribal Elder) and their Whaanau (family) carved and painted 110 poles.

A Grandfather of 9 grandchildren, with his family background being one of 10 children provides the foundation and inspiration for his works which thematically centre on the importance of The Family.

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Dr Richard Cooper Fine Arts