Community / 31st August 2023
‘Predator’ sculpture unveiled
Gary Cooper is a talented metal worker who has finally hung up the welder on a commissioned piece of a 10-foot character – the ‘Predator’.
Turning recycled materials into art is no easy task, yet for one local, his passion exceeds the mission.
Gary Cooper, based in Coonabarabran, has been working with metal for several years.
Over the past 12 months he has been completing a commissioned piece based on the film character, ‘Predator’.
The Predator stands 10 feet high and involved more than 460 hours of work.
Mr Cooper rambled far and wide to find the individual materials involved within the piece, including materials sent from Queensland.
Hidden amongst the frame are parts from forklifts, bikes, hammers, chains, cogs and more.
“Even I look at it and go, ‘how did I put this all together’,” Mr Cooper said.
It appears, junk has never looked better!
Mr Cooper’s journey into metal work began when he was forced to retire early and found himself with nothing to do.
“I did a welding course at the TAFE, bought a welder and went from there,” he said.
Mr Cooper has previously won a Waste to Art competition for his work, creating a music band from metal for his entry.
Previous works have been commissioned throughout the state and involved life-sized crocodiles, dragons and more.
His work was also exhibited at SPACE Gallery, Coonabarabran, when it first opened.
Mr Cooper’s current Predator piece was commissioned by Brendan Jones and will be featured inside the premises of B.J. Machining, at Coonabarabran’s industrial area.
Mr Jones mentioned he had been saving the metal pieces he works with, as he had hoped to make it himself, however, could not find the time.
He envisioned creating a unique metal creature that would be a talking point for the town and the business.
“It is a real work of art. You name it, it has got it in there,” Mr Jones said.
The work appears appealing to the idiom – ‘art can be created from anything’.