Doug Cocker | Themes and Variations

24 April 2024

Themes and Variations highlights one of Scotland’s premier sculptors. Doug Cocker’s immersive installation will offer a captivating exploration of his distinctive artistic approach. We have also set up a small installation of Cocker’s work in Dovecot Studios.

Cocker’s sculpture is the artist’s response to the landscape and natural environment around him. Working predominately in wood, his studio in Lundie, outside Dundee, is a magnificent thinking space where the walls are littered with evolving ideas.

In spring 2025, The Scottish Gallery and Dovecot Studios will be exhibiting Doug Cocker’s work on the Viewing Balcony at Dovecot.

The twenty-four wall sculptures which comprise the suite titled Third Variations make primary use of geometric shapes and solids: ovoids, circles, rectangles, cylinders, lines, curves and so on.

The variations evolve from consideration and manipulation of the usual formal aspects of sculpture: proportion, shadow, light and shade, intervening spaces, implied movement, scale, depth, colour, placement etc. - Doug Cocker

Making works in series has, for some years, been my preferred route to conclusions. Working in this way, I find that the sculpture feeds the sculpture: testing a notion invariably raises alternative ideas. Consistency of scale and palette provides control of a kind, but the pieces are essentially instinctual and improvisational. - Doug Cocker

Themes and Variations at Dovecot Studios. Photo by Alex Robson
Themes and Variations at Dovecot Studios. Photo by Alex Robson
Themes and Variations at Dovecot Studios. Photo by Alex Robson

Doug Cocker was brought up in rural Perthshire and comes from a long line of farmers and blacksmiths. He has undertaken many public sculpture commissions including the Ben Lomond Memorial at Rowardennan and the Glasgow Bouquet in the Merchant City, Glasgow.

Enjoy this short film below of Doug in his studio, discussing his creative process and the work for Themes and Variations. Film by Jack Cocker.

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