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"The Island II" 2008

Wall text

Wall text

Brook Garru Andrew 

Born 1970, Gadigal Country.
Wiradjuri and Celctic. Lives and works in Kulin Country.
Pronouns: he/him


"The Island II" 2008


from the series 'The Island'

mixed media on Belgian linen, edition 2/3

Collection of The University of Queensland, purchased 2008

In The Island II, Brook Garru Andrew reconfigures, distorts, and reveals a dystopian archive, applying a critical futuristic aesthetic lens. The Island II is one in a series that is grounded in Andrew’s deep engagement with the archive and the multiple configurations and distortions that they perpetuate. The artwork is based on a series of images from a rare book titled Australien in 142 Photographischen (1862) by Prussian geologist and naturalist William Blandowski (1822–1878), which is held in the Haddon Library, Cambridge. Island II depicts a drawing of Aboriginal burial mounds by Gustav Mutzel (1839–1893) in Plate 140 of the album, featuring small earth mounds with circular channels and dams in the Callitris forests near Galari (Lachlan River), Wiradjuri Country.

The archival drawings are anthropological and fantastical in nature, as over time a few were proven to be falsified. Through drawing attention to this rare archive that exists within the collection of Cambridge library, Andrew highlights yet another example of romantic and exotic misrepresentations of Aboriginal histories in Western ethnographic imagery. Using a distinctively otherworldly aesthetic, the artist obscures, conceals, and repositions the documentation, shedding light on stories of disappearance, persecution and racial discrimination that have been recorded yet hidden within institutional record-keeping processes.


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