Octavia Cook was born in Auckland but now resides in Port Chalmers, Dunedin. In 1999 Cook graduated with a Bachelor of Design in Jewellery from Auckland’s Unitec, and in 2003 she launched her fictitious family jewellery ‘company’, Cook & Co.
Cook has become well known for her hand-crafted cameos constructed from precious metals and plastic, that often feature her own profile. Her wider oeuvre reveals an encyclopedic concern for the fine art of jewellery. To date Cook’s interest in her craft has spanned the traditional forms, settings and materials of jewellery, as well as its packaging, marketing and provenance. Special attention has been reserved for the value and social function of jewels.
Cook has exhibited her work extensively since 1999. Her work has been shown in exhibitions at Objectspace, City Gallery Wellington, the Suter Art Gallery, the New Dowse, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Fingers, Roslyn Oxley 9 and Peter McLeavey. Cook & Co works are represented in public and private collections including those of the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, Dowse Art Museum, Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art (UK), Museum of Fine Arts Boston (USA) and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.