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42-44 Devonport Road, Tauranga

Matthew Cooper: Thirty Three




Couper, who hails from the Hawke's Bay but is now based in Las Vegas, executed the series of paintings in 2009 at the age of 33, as a 'rite of passage'.

Although essentially autobiographical, these paintings recall common life experiences.

The exhibition takes viewers on a journey full of symbolism through growing up in Hawke's Bay, to art school and travelling overseas, teaching and to dealing with questions of religion, sex, and life and death along the way.










Couper's works are greatly influenced by Spanish colonial artistic traditions and Thirty Three is baed on the devotional 17th century Spanish retablo painting tradition.

Retablo are small paintings on tin, wood or copper, which were used in home altars to venerate and thank God, Mary or Catholic saints, often for intervening during a dangerous event.

Couper uses the tradition to relate to events during his own life.








Principal Funder

Annual Strategic Partners