PLACES OF WORK - SYDNEY'S INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE
The Incinerator Art Space, May 2019
Ro Cook does not wander far from textiles and the process of printing. She see these as integral to her expression of life and her heritage – reflecting social, economic and sensory heritage of work specific environments.
In this body of work, she reinterprets her heritage referencing her parents’ Places of Work in the mid 20th century.
Her father, Bob, worked in country wool sheds and after the war moved to Dalgetys in Millers Point. Ro’s mother, Gwen, after war service in the nursing corps, completed her training at Sydney Hospital in Macquarie Street. She forged a career in leadership positions in a number of public and private hospitals.
Wool sheds settle in vast horizons. Ro references the order made from timber and metal, she is fascinated by the quality of light through natural hues and materials honed by extreme elements, creating distinctive textures.
By contrast nursing institutions contain order within a built environment. Everything has a purpose – clean and sterile. where the uniforms – fabrics, buttons, badges and capes in red, blues and white denote rank and the outside weather is quarantined.