Since August 2016, I have been scouring the beaches and streets of Miami, in search of detritus to be collected and used as raw material for my sculptural practice. This process began after spending time on the beaches and noticing the bounty of plastic items sprinkled along the sand. Herein lied an opportunity to take a negative situation and bring some positivity to it, elevating the material from negative to precious, a kind of alchemy.
The pieces that I find offer an array of color, texture, and context, which informs my decision making process. The abstract forms in my work are created intuitively, in response to the material at hand. Larger items are broken down into building material to create volume. Items such as plastic toys are kept intact and placed strategically to become elements of discovery, offering a unique opportunity of nostalgia for each viewer.
The assemblage comes together to create an environmental experience about the environment, my intention is to invite the viewer into a new world.
Patricia L. Cooke was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. Cooke received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina in 2011. After graduating, she returned to her native Greensboro, obtained studio space, and joined a co-op gallery, exhibiting in many galleries throughout North Carolina.
In 2015, Cooke was awarded a Teaching Assistantship Scholarship from the University of Miami. She graduated in May 2018 with an MFA in Sculpture.