Hazel Mary Cope is a multi - award winning artist. Her works hang in corporate and
private collections throughout Australia and Europe.
Hazel graduated from Queensland College of Art in 2017 with a Doctor of Visual
Arts, age 67 years.
Hazel's subject matter oscillates from misty rainforests, streams and animals to theatre towels,
vomit bags and medical equipment. Having spent 46 years working as a registered nurse, with the
last nine years in palliative care, Hazel has a deep interest in the subjective qualities of nursing – an
interest she explores through art.
Since 1996 she has worked part time as a nurse, and established a professional art practice
For Hazel, her two professions go hand-in-hand. Both are hands-on, expressive and require
observation of subject and, according to Hazel, both are elusive. “Caring for a dying patient or
observing a leaf in the bush – the mystery of life is all around me,” says the artist.
Working from her sunlit studio overlooking a national park in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Hazel has
two distinct aesthetics, one being the tranquil beauty of nature, the other an informed and specific
response to the objective way in which the contemporary medical industry treats the human body.
Using everyday objects and materials from the medical industry such as antiseptic and medical
instruments, Hazel uses formal strategies of repetition and de-contextualisation to transform them
into provocative and poetic installations.
While her more traditional acrylic paintings of rainforest scenes and dog portraits may seem worlds
away from this sterile criticality, themes of hope, perseverance and peace convey the emotional and
distinctly human relationship between nurse and patient. The opposing binaries within her work
between life and death, growth and decay, light and dark underscore the technical beauty of Hazel’s
paintings with a rich and thought-provoking conceptual subtext. Hazel has completed a memoir of her nursing experiences illustrated with her artwork.