Vera Cooper

1959 - Yorta Yorta My Mother's Place By The River 2007 terracotta, clay and terra sigillata underglaze 16 x 12 x 12 cm Collection Shepparton Art Museum, acquired through the 2007 Indigenous Ceramic Award, Winner - Victorian Prize 2008.4

Artist Statement


I am an aboriginal women of Yorta Yorta descent who has grown up on the Murray River and I’ve lived there most of my life. I hold great pride in my heritage and totem the Yorta Yorta long neck turtle which is presented in much of my work. Some of the leading influences in my work have come from my Mother, Father and other family members. My work is often based on my life stories and also stories that have been passed down to me.

Studying at Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE, Echuca Campus completing the Certificate III in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art and Design gave me the opportunity to experience my first exhibition at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Melbourne in 2003. I went on to complete a Certificate IV and a Diploma in Aboriginal Visual Arts. I have since participated in five group exhibitions including Bunjilaka at the Museum of Victoria, World Trade Centre Melbourne, Parliament House and Skepsi on Swanston in Melbourne. I have also staged a solo exhibition at Melbourne’s Horti Hall and my work has been part of touring exhibitions across the state.

I make art in multimedia, mosaics, acrylic paint, water colors, ink, clay and sculpting. My contemporary work holds pride to my culture and creative style, which often includes all local animals and experiences. 

My inspiration comes from culture; it has great importance giving back some of our culture to the children who have lost it. Other inspiration comes from Indigenous artists including my two sisters, who are completing art courses.