Ro Cook does not wander far from textiles and the process of printing. She sees these as integral to her expression of life and reflecting a social, economic and sensory heritage of work specific environments.
In this exhibition, she reinterprets her parents’ places of work in the mid 20th century.
Ro’s father, Bob, worked in country woolsheds as a woolpresser and after the war moved to Dalgetys in Millers Point.
Ro’s mother, Gwen, after war service in the nursing corps, completed her training at Sydney Hospital in Macquarie Street. She forged a career in leadership positions in a number of public and private hospitals.
Woolsheds settle in vast horizons, and here Ro references the order made from timber and metal in these iconic Australian buildings. She is fascinated by the quality of light in a woolshed made of natural hues and materials, honed by extreme elements to create distinctive textures.
By contrast nursing institutions contain order within a very different built environment.
Everything has a purpose, clean and sterile, and the outside weather is quarantined. The distinctive nurses’ uniforms of her mother’s day – fabrics, buttons, badges and capes in red, blues and white – denoted rank and a strict hierarchy among the hospital staff.
Both places of work are defined by their differences and similarities.
“It is the process of creating unique textiles that I love.”
Ro Cookis a multi-disciplinary artist specializing in textiles who maintains a studio practice in printmaking. Her textiles reflect her love of printing and dyeing and embellishing in 2D and 3D. Her growing area of research is in ceremonial textiles within Asia and the Pacific. Her recent study has led her into the gallery and museum sector.
Ro shares her life with a wonderful family and friends and her over loved Bedlington terrier.