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Brook Andrew

Brook Andrew 'The Island V' 2008

Brook Andrew | Australia b.1970 | The Island V 2008 | Mixed media on Belgian linen, ed. 1/3 | 250 x 300 x 5cm | Purchased 2009 with funds from the Bequest of Grace Davies and Nell Davies through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

b. 1970 Australia (Wiradjuri people)
Lives and works in Melbourne, Australia

Brook Andrew often reproduces historical imagery on a large scale, re-investigating the ways in which Australian Indigenous people have been represented in history.

The Island V 2008 interrogates notions of Australia as a savage and romantic land by examining an image from Wilhelm Blandowski’s Australien in 142 Photographischen 1862. The following notes are an English translation of the original text accompanying the image:

Plate 67: If the kangaroo is publicly known as harmless, this is a misconception. Many, even very strong dogs die during the kangaroo hunt…Humans have to watch out for him as well, for it has happened on occasion that the kangaroo has grabbed a person, carried him to the nearest water and held him under the surface until he believes the person has drowned.

Andrew's response to this fantastical story incorporates an anonymous Aboriginal man. His stance, with a club raised overhead, is ambiguous: is he joining the hunt or merely another strange and threatening inhabitant of this land?

Translation Copyright: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2007.

Exhibitions (solo): ‘Brook Andrew: Theme Park’, Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2008-09; ‘Brook Andrew: The Island’, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge, England, 2008; ‘Brook Andrew: Eye to Eye’, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2007; ‘The unseen’, Sanskriti Kendra, Delhi, India, 2000; Exhibitions (group): Spertus Institute, Chicago, USA, 2008-09; ‘Half Light: Portraits of Black Australia’, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2008; ‘DE OVERKANT/DOWN-UNDER: Stichting Den Haag Sculptuur’, Den Haag, The Netherlands, 2007; ‘Prism: Contemporary Australian Art’, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan, 2006-07; ‘The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art 2006: 21st Century Modern’, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2006; ‘Currents in contemporary Australasian art’, National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland, and Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2005; ‘Moët & Chandon Australian Art Fellowship 1999’, Art Gallery New South Wales, Sydney, 1999.