The work of fiction is an epistolary novel consisting of the postcards, letters and emails sent between a mother and daughter over the course of 30 years.
It starts in 1985 when Lynn Gallagher moves to London to enrol at Saint Martin’s School of Art wanting to make her mark on the capital’s art scene, leaving her mother behind in a suburb of Birmingham. Lynn’s fictional life and artistic progression are interwoven with the lives and works of the Young British Artists scene including Damien Hirst (described as “a short ballsy bloke from Leeds”), Gary Hume, Georgie Hopton, Michael Landy, Rachel Whiteread and Gavin Turk among others.
Auctioneer to dealer
Cooper was head of the 19th century furniture department at Sotheby’s Belgravia in the early 1970s before setting up as an antiques dealer.
Regular clients included the architects James Stirling and Denys Lasdun and collaborative art duo Gilbert & George, whose house in Spitalfields was furnished with furniture and ceramics bought exclusively from Cooper until he closed his business in 1983 to write full time.
Cooper’s non-fiction works include Victorian and Edwardian Furniture and Interiors (Thames & Hudson with Abbeville in US 1987, 1998 and 2007), Growing Up: The young British artists at 50 (Prestel 2012), and The World Exists to be Put on a Postcard (Thames & Hudson 2019), which is a select presentation of Cooper’s collection of artists’ postcards, exhibited at the British Museum in 2019 and gifted to them.