Copland‘s research as an artist is interdisciplinary with a strong basis in drawing. Of Lebanese, Cuban and Scottish background, his art has focused on the themes of cultural identity, heritage, diaspora and human rights. Since 1986 he has had 29 solo exhibitions, including exhibitions in Cuba, New Zealand, Slovakia, Austria and Lebanon, and been represented in Art Fairs in Italy, Istanbul and Melbourne.
Copland’s work in Australia for the Lebanese community earned him a Commendation Award from the Consulate General of Lebanon.(1999)
He is the recipient of a number of awards and cultural grants including a Migration Heritage Grant, an International Programs Grant from the NSW Ministry for the Arts, a Vermont Studio Center Artist Grant. In 2006-2007 he was invited to conduct workshops on migration heritage for European art educators in Graz, Austria, and at Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island, at the Symposium, New media and the Global Diaspora. This year he has been invited to present a workshop at the 32nd InSEA World Congress/Research Conference 2008 in Osaka, Japan.
Copland has lectured at St Esprit University Kaslik, Lebanon and was Assistant Professor (2007-08) at the University of Sharjah, College of Fine Arts and Design.
“The use of the traditions of text and writing as a way of reasserting a place and identity is also explored in Stephen Copland’s painting suite Julia’s Diary. Using the diary of his Lebanese Cuban grandmother he explores the migrant experience through reconstructing the texts and reworking, erasing and recreating a heritage. The heavily worked images of flags,tourist scenes and texts speak powerfully of the need to retain the experiences of the past even while they are shifting and changing through the experience of migration.”
Kiersten Fishburn review of East of Somewhere Artlink VOL 21 NO2