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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Doug Cocker (b. 1945)

Sculptor born in Perthshire, he studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee. In 1982 he was appointed Lecturer in Sculpture at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, but resigned in 1990 to become a full-time practitioner. He often works on a colossal scale, combining formal simplicity with a concern for weighty social issues, but almost invariably leavening the political critique with a vein of ironic humour, such as in State of a Nation (1985, destroyed), a wooden Greek temple mounted on rockers. He is also a prolific draughtsman, and has developed a distinctive form of multi-compartment box construction to accommodate, in miniature, ideas for sculptures that would otherwise remain as two-dimensional designs on paper. A good example is 2 Tribes/40 Shades (1989, private collection). Major public commissions include: Song of Sisyphus, Peterborough (1988); Meridian, for Mobil (UK), Aberdeen (1990); Poet and Scholar, for Ayr High Street (1995); and Glasgow Bouquet, Hutcheson Street, Glasgow (2010). He was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1984, and in 1992 he was awarded a Wingate Scholarship.

Bibliography: C. Carrell et al, Doug Cocker: sculpture and related works 1976–1986 (ex. cat.), Glasgow, 1986; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 308–10, 394; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Glasgow, Liverpool, 2002, pp. 50–51, 92; G.T. Noszlopy and F. Waterhouse, Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country, Liverpool, 2005, p. 261; A. Patrizio, Contemporary Sculpture in Scotland, Sydney, Australia, 1999, pp. 44–49, 145.

Ray McKenzie 2018