Brook Andrew is one of Australia’s most exciting contemporary artists. He has worked across a range of media – photography, installation and performance – and exhibited widely over the last fifteen years. Motivated by questions of politics, language, and Australia’s contentious history, he has been stimulated particularly by historic images of Aboriginal people in anthropological collections and archives. The spectacular works in this exhibition are based on important historical photographs and sketches in Cambridge and other anthropological collections.
Anthropological photographs and similar historic images of Indigenous peoples have often been considered stereotypic, as expressions of colonial science or racist thought. Brook Andrew, however, has been open to what he has described as ‘extraordinary stories of cultural identity, persecution, racial discrimination, history, and the human condition’ that they evoke. His dramatic enlargements and manipulations bring obscure images into the light, rendering them poignant, palpable, powerful and mysterious.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.