Professor Thomas Joshua Cooper

Job Title:

Head of Department, Fine Art Photography


Fine Art Photography



The World's Edge
part of Professor Thomas Joshua Cooper's astonishing research project documenting the extremities of the world

The World's Edge


Professor Thomas Joshua Cooper

I am a long-term practicing artist, whose primary interests revolve around issues of the landscape, historical and cultural geography, cartography and the problems of picture-making. Making photographic work is important and central both to my work and research. During the last 23 years, I am involved in the making and assembly of a large, thematic body of work, that is developed out of the physical act of visually and pictorially mapping the cardinal extremes immense described as the Atlantic Basin.

This project is called ‘The World’s Edge – the Atlantic Basin Project – An Atlas of Emptiness and Extremity’ and it involves to date three completed sections: point of no return (photographic work from the cardinal extremities of furthest North, West and South of the continents of Europe and Africa); Ojo de Agua (photographic work from furthest North, East and South of the continent of South America) and TRUE (photographic work from the North and South {Poles to their respective Polar Circles.)

As Allan Harkness suggests in his essay “Sojourns in the Archive: Photographs of the Atlantic Basin”, ‘The Atlas project is an indexical mapping project, and archive of witness. It is about place and memory, about historical identity and contemporary hopes and fears – and finally about silence and slowness’.

I am interested in meaning in pictures and deeply believe that work through project and extended themes helps establish such meaning as maybe determined by groups of pictures under common authorship. Artwork itself is of primary importance and its development a central concern both in my work and research. I firmly believe that artworks have the potential to provide both a solid ground for practice-based research and also exist in their own independent right.

In over 43 years as a practicing visual artist, I have authored 10 visual monographs of my own artwork and co-authored one historical text-book. I have made nearly 95 solo exhibitions in major galleries and museums and participated in over 80 group exhibitions as well. My work is available to be seen in over 40 public collections in Britain, Europe and America.

View Professor Thomas Joshua Cooper's outputs on the GSA's Research repository

Thomas Joshua Cooper on RADAR

Scattered waters: sources streams rivers

Scattered waters: sources streams rivers Cooper, Thomas ...

28/01/20 15:45

Thomas Joshua Cooper: Refuge

Thomas Joshua Cooper: Refuge Cooper, Thomas Joshua (20...

28/01/20 15:30

School of Fine Art on RADAR

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Research outputs from the School of Fine Art