What she is not, however, is a boudoir photographer. In fact, she had never taken nude photos prior to this body of work — until, when thinking about Canadian art history, she identified an absence of black female bodies in the visual language.
"When you think of Canada's national identity and what that looks like, I often think of the Group of Seven, moose, Canadian mounties," Cooper explains. "Rarely do I see black women depicted in the Canadian landscape."
So she began an auto-ethnographic inquiry intent on changing the dominant visual culture through an exploration of her own mixed race heritage. However, that inquiry may look very different than one may expect: eating, jumping, dancing. nudity. Instead of fuelling the internalized trauma of racism and exclusion with anger, she decided to subvert and empower through an exploration of black joy.
"I think that there is a power in nudity," she says. "To be able to stand with a group of black women and stand with pride in our fully naked bodies is incredibly revealing — but it's also incredibly radical."