Aussie animal sculpture abstractions – Peter Cooley



Two Corella cups, creamer and a sugar bowl – Peter Cooley



Black Cockatoo & Chinese Clouds - 2010 by Peter Cooley

‘Black Cockatoo & Chinese Clouds’ vessel by Peter Cooley




What a Flamin’ Galah!


The innate Australian laid back “she’ll be right” attitude, infused with their easy going approach and original humor, is also reflected in some of the characteristics of the Aussie animals. The Koala Bear, renown for their economy of movement, has a tendency to drop out of trees from being too relaxed, aided by the consumption of the intoxicating eucalyptus leaves (their main staple) The kangaroo bounces around because this is also more efficient for energy conservation, especially in the summer heat (why bother with 50 steps when you can cover it in three leaps?) The Goanna and Thorny Devil lizard also like to take their time with their languid gaits. The Cockatoo and the Kookaburra have loads of character in their distinctive Australian bird calls and are a vivid reminder of the diversity of the Australian humor.

The wry, laconic Aussie communication also favors an economy of words, down to stripping the syllables to the bare essentials, by reducing them down to one or two, so the vocabulary features words like Uni (university), tute (tutorial), arvo (afternoon), sunnies (sunglasses), brekkie (breakfast), sanga (sandwich), avo (avocado) and selfies (OZ origin)
Peter Coolies animal sculptures remind me of this cultural ethos with forms that are simplified with a casual blend combining abstraction and figuration and a playful mix of the tactile and ethereal. And like the Aussie language, they have been Brancusied to direct more focus on the spirit of the subject at the expense of detail. He claims that ceramics are metaphysical objects and his animal sculptures emulate the uniqueness and warmth of the Australian animals in a manner that elevates their charm and spirit.


A pair of Red Kangaroos Peter Cooley--2015

‘A pair of Red Kangaroos’     Peter Cooley



Peter Cooley’s general preference for rich majolica colours reflect his childhood fascination spent in tropical Queensland exposed to exotic Australian birds and their vivid plumes and his years in the Blue Mountains closely observing the local animals in their natural habitat. Cockatoos, cassowaries, koalas, wallabys, gang gangs, sugar gliders and echindas are some of the many animals he has sculpted with an intimate insight that evokes their wildlife vibrancy.
Originally beginning his formal foray into art as a painter, Peter has relished the shift he made to the ceramic arts, claiming that painting on dirt has an essence about it that is grounded yet capable of revealing vivid, lustrous palettes. He cites the Mid Century Italian contemporary avant-garde ceramics of Fausto Melotti and Leoncillo Leonardi as an influence and this is apparent with his simplified forms of rich texture and colour and the strong emphasis on the sculptural and abstract. You can also include the native art from the PNG Highlands and Sepik River which he cited as an early influence along with the German Die Brucke expressionism.
I am also showing some other unique Aussie animal sculptures from Diane Berner, Anita Reay and Stephen Bernwell.


Painting - Galah's-Peter Cooley

Galah’s – Peter Cooley



Cassowary-Peter-Cooley-2013 Photography by Tony Lopesmartinbrownecontemporary

‘Cassowary’ – Peter Cooley – 2013

Photography by Tony Lopes

Martin Browne Contemporary



Black Tailed Swamp Wallaby 2, 2014, Earthenware, 69 x 44 x 46cm

‘Black Tailed Swamp Wallaby 2’, Peter Cooley 2014

Earthenware, 69 x 44 x 46cm


Echidna & Glenbrook Gorge 2016 scottliveseygalleries

‘Echidna & Glenbrook Gorge’ – Peter Cooley

2016 –  Scott Livesey Galleries




Peter Cooley – ‘Gang Gangs’ – 2012

Photo by Tony Lopes


Red Gang-Gangs-Teacups,-2012 Peter Cooley

‘Gang Gang Teacups’  —  Peter Cooley



‘Pair of Regent Parrots’  – Peter Cooley




A pair of black tailed swamp wallabies - 2015 by Peter Cooley

‘Pair of black tailed swamp wallabies’ by Peter Cooley



Striped ceramic goblets - Peter Cooley

Striped ceramic goblets – Peter Cooley



Glider and Landscape 2018 - Peter Cooley

‘Glider and Landscape’ 2018 – Peter Cooley

Martin Browne Contemporary


Lyrebird 4 majolica-sculpture-Peter-Cooley earthenware

‘Lyrebird 4’ majolica sculpture  —  Peter Cooley



Peter Cooley  —  Enviroment, Colour, Tone exhibition — 2018 @ Martin Browne Contemporary

 5 April –29 April 2018

15 Hampden Street Paddington NSW 2021 




Green rosella and eucalyptus ceramic sculpture- Peter Cooley

Green Rosella and eucalyptus ceramic sculpture – Peter Cooley




Major Mitchel cockatoo-Peter Cooley - 53cm height

‘Major Mitchel Cockatoo’ -Peter Cooley

53cm height


Pair of cockatiels-Earthenware--Peter Cooley ceramic bird sculptures

‘Pair of cockatiels’ – Earthenware — Peter Cooley



Palm Cockatoo-1--2011-Peter Cooley 60cm

Palm Cockatoo 1    Peter Cooley

2011- 60cm height


Parrots & Landscape-Urn 2 -- Peter Cooley

‘Parrots & Landscape Urn 2’  — Peter Cooley

Martin Browne Contemporary



Peter Cooley, Kites 1, 2012, earthenware, 44 x 28 x 28 cm

Peter Cooley, ‘Kites 1′

2012, earthenware, 44 x 28 x 28 cm


Peter Cooley with kangaroo sculpture

Peter Cooley with kangaroo sculpture



Peter Cooley--abstract Koala

Peter Cooley


Red & Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo's and Landscape Urn 3

Red & Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo’s and Landscape Urn 3 – Peter Cooley



Peter Cooley Glider and Landscape-2017-53cm

Peter Cooley Glider and Landscape 1

Martin Browne Contemporary

 2017  – 53cm height


Peter Cooley Australian ceramic sculpture Brush Tailed Rock Wallaby

Peter Cooley ‘Brush Tailed Rock Wallaby’



Peter Cooley tea bowl with landscape decoration

Peter Cooley tea bowl




Peter Cooley ‘Wentworth Falls, a pair’
Earthenware 70 x 26 x 25 cm 


Red Kangaroo 1, Earthenware, 69 x 32 x 32cm

‘Red Kangaroo 1’, Earthenware

69 x 32 x 32cm


Red Kangaroo 10 by Peter Cooley ceramic sculpture Australian

‘Red Kangaroo 10’ by Peter Cooley



Sugar Glider Earthenware,Peter Cooley

‘Sugar Glider’ earthenware, Peter Cooley



Swans 1,2012-13,-Earthenware,Photography by Tony Lopes

‘Swans 1’, Peter Cooley

Photography by Tony Lopes



Tree Kangaroo---2012--Peter Cooley

‘Tree Kangaroo’  —  Peter Cooley




Echidna & Copeland's Lookout--2016 Scott Livesey Galleries

‘Echidna & Copeland’s Lookout’ –2016 – Peter Cooley

Scott Livesey Galleries



Wentworth Falls 3--Peter Cooley ceramic sculpture

‘Wentworth Falls 3’ — Peter Cooley ceramic sculpture



White tailed black cockatoo - Peter Cooley

‘White tailed black cockatoo’ – Peter Cooley



Palm Valley painting---Peter Cooley

‘Palm Valley’ painting—Peter Cooley


 Peter Cooley Instagram




More Aussie animals – 


Pair of Pink Galahs  --  Valerie Willy ceramic art

Pair of Pink Galahs  —  Valerie Willy



Diane Berner Kookaburra ceramic figurine

Diane Berner  – Kookaburra



Diane-Berner-owl sculpture

Diane Berner – Owl



Diane Berner-tall bird sculpture

Diane Berner – tall bird sculpture



Diane Berner raku duck sculpture

Diane Berner raku duck



Diane Berner in studio

Diane Berner



Owl Form, lidded container,-1982,-stoneware---Stephen Benweill

Owl Form, lidded container — Stephen Benwell



Stephen Benwell ceramic sculpture, modeled, as a fantastic animal with candleholders on its back 22cm long

Stephen Benwell twin candleholder ceramic sculpture croc

Length 22 inches


Stephen Benwell-Bowl with handle-1987,-stoneware

Stephen Benwell – Croc bowl with handle



arid_recovery_bilby burrows into the red earth-at-Roxby Downs

Burrowing Bilby, South Australia



Tasmanian-Pademelon-(film-shoot-We-walked-on-a-carpet-of-stars---photo-Jean Pierre Chabrol

Tasmanian Pademelon short tailed wallaby – photo Jean Pierre Chabrol



Anita Reay - spotted quoll ceramic animal

Anita Reay  ‘Spotted quoll’



tassie-devil-Anita-Reay sculpture

‘Tasmanian Devil’ – Anita Reay



wide eyed Possum-Anita-Reay

‘Possum’ – Anita Reay


Gavino Tilocca-wild boar ceramic sculpture

Gavino Tilocca wild boar



Gavino Tilocca warrior on horse

Gavino Tilocca warrior on horse


Sunbaking Goanna



Lumholtzs Tree kangaroo © MattSummerville

‘Lumholtzs Tree Kangaroo’ © MattSummerville



Senia-Kazar-ceramics-stall-58-possum -St Kilda Esplanade Market

Senia Kazar ceramic possum

St Kilda Esplanade Market



Senia Kazar ceramic koalas

Senia Kazar koala bears

St Kilda Esplanade Market



Possum-platypus and wombat by Senia Kazar

Possum, platypus and wombat by Senia Kazar



Fighting Roos wire sculpture by Jo Caminiti

‘Fighting Roos’ wire sculpture by Jo Caminiti

2018   height 7ft 2 inches


Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo peering out from his tree

Mabi the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo



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