Githan Coopoo is a self-taught Jewelry Designer and Sculptor, working exclusively with clay as their base medium as it is both uncomplicated and universally timeless. Originally focused on volume, opulence and fragility Coopoo’s jewelry has shown at Fashion Weeks internationally, including New York, Paris, Nigeria and Russia. Expanding upon his practice, Coopoo has begun producing larger scale works aligned with his own experiences and thoughts about queer love and sex – predominantly vases with anthropomorphic earing-like handles and simple but pointed messages painted across their facades. A replica ancient ceramic object - the amphora, cracks and all – makes use of the earrings as a personal symbol of queerness to the artist. Both the vase and earrings are different entities, but exist in harmony on one body. In this form, the playfulness and personality of the object is highlighted - it’s arms akimbo - its queerness is personified. This gesture is then bolstered by base and colourful remarks – teetering between the existential and tongue-and-cheek.
“Clay is very human in its behavior and I like to highlight that in my work, as well as my love for mythology, ancient civilisations and the gifts they have left us. There is something special about objects that are lost and then found again. They change in their absence. Mythology often allows for an easier transmission of queer ideas in this way.”
SELECTED PROJECTS & EXHIBITIONS
2021 – Bluet, group exhibition, KSSO Editions, Cape Town; House Party, group exhibition, The Fourth, Cape Town; Queer Art Chats: Queer Abstraction, Conversations with The Museum of Modern Art, New York, via Zoom; Kutti Bazaar, collaboration with proto, The A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town. 2020 - The Spectacle, group exhibition, The Fourth, Cape Town; Home is where the art is, group exhibition, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town; Pink’s not Dead!, group exhibition, Apartment, Cape Town; Kernel, group exhibition, Curated by Nabeeha Mohammed and Grace Cross, Cape Town; Shaping Things, group exhibition, SMAC Gallery, Cape Town.