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Artist / Studio Name: Sheila Cooper-Collins
CATEGORY:: Artists
Type: Paintings
Venue / Exhibition: Sedgefield
About: (Artist’s description): Versatile Sheila Cooper was born in South Africa where she studied Fine Art at the University of Witwatersrand. There she met the world-renowned anthropologists, Professors Raymond Dart and Philip Tobias, for whom she undertook archaeological artwork. Sheila researched and recorded Bushman Art in South Africa and Swaziland, in particular from the famous site at Makapans Caves. Living in a caravan in Namibia and the Kalahari, she painted the desert landscapes and their abundant wildlife. She also found and recorded Bushman rock engraving sites.

On moving to Pietersburg Sheila started an Art School and also began to exhibit her paintings regularly in one-man and group exhibitions, the first solo exhibition being in 1980 at the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria. During this very productive period of her life she received many large commissions from corporations and banks.

Later in Mooi River, Natal, Sheila took a post as Head of the Art Department at Treverton College where she taught until 1990, painting and exhibiting as much as time allowed. In 1992 she moved to the Cape coastal village of Sedgefield and it is here that she was able to fully explore and develop her passion for paper, an interest that had started a decade earlier.

With her sons, Mark and John, Sheila created Scarab Paper, a home-based industry making handmade paper with the fibre from elephant and rhino dung and printing paintings of African wildlife on cards and limited-edition prints. The influences of having lived in the wilds of Africa, where she encountered wild animals daily, and the years of recording Bushman Art are strongly evident in her work.

In 1996 Sheila and her family, who are passionate about the conservation of our fast-diminishing natural environment, raised R350,000 for the Wild Life and Environmental Society of Southern Africa. This immensely successful project, which was a 100% donation, was used to publish the book on the history of the Knysna Elephants by Margo Mackay and also for the Environmental Education Program at the Knysna Elephant Park.

In 2001 Sheila was commissioned to design a set of commemorative stamps of marine life for South Africa to celebrate National Marine Day in November. For this set and the two First Day Covers she was awarded Best Stamp design and Best Artist for 2001 by the Philatelic Society.

Sheila has always painted in a variety of mediums, watercolours, oils, pastels, and on silk, and continues to create works of art with her handmade paper, a field which she is a leader in Africa.
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Town: Sedgefield
Region: Garden Route, South Africa
Garden Route Meander Office Use Only
Registration Date: Sep 24, 2014
First Name: Garden Route Meander
Last Name: Office Use Only
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