Coco Elder is a Visual Arts Teacher and is our Guest Speaker on 1st October General Meeting
Coco is a practicing artist specialising in Painting and Ceramics. Alongside her teaching position in Visual Arts at a high school on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Coco has also been a Lecturer at the College of Fine Arts (COFA) at UNSW.
Her greatest inspiration and love of life is the Australian natural landscape. As a child, Coco learnt to shape pots from clay found on the side of the road with weekends spent in the Blue Mountains.
Her Father, also a painter, instilled the love of oil paints and dabbling with the elements of texture, colour and movement, along with inspiring aspects of Expressionism, Abstraction and painting with light.
Following the loss of her home and studio with a crashing grey gum in a storm, back in 1997, Coco was driven to complete her Bachelor of Art Education degree. Working between the
disciplines of teaching and practicing artist, enables her to see ‘the other’ with fresher eyes and renewed clarity. “Myteaching profession and art practice have become cyclical, one discipline feeds the other”.
“Painting brings me into the highest state of consciousness. It is in this moment, I lose myself and enter a state
of formlessness. The paradox is, that my practice is about creating forms and
shaping narratives. It is a journey that keeps me continually seeking….”.
Coco’s practice has always involved sketching outdoors, particularly in Kuring-
gai Chase National Park, close to her home on the Northern Beaches where she is surrounded by natural bushland. “I like the immediacy of responding to the landscape in which I find myself. I can sketch the same escarpment over again and new palettes, shapes and forms will present themselves. I may not like what I produce
but when I take it back to the studio and out of context, I return to the same moment in time with the realisation I have taken on a small part of that place”.
Recently she has been experimenting with carving back through paper.