Michael Cook: The Mission

Michael Cook: The Mission

Opens 27-07-2018, closes 03-03-2019

Salon Gallery

The Mission

The Mission traces the journey of an Aboriginal woman from her homeland to a Christian mission, where she arrives in handcuffs.

Life on the mission introduces her to Western clothing, food rations, tobacco, and even a husband. Yet, her baby is stolen following a Christian wedding. Symbolically, in the final image she returns to her Country.

The artist Michael Cook writes:

“The existence of missions and reserves enabled the implementation of policies by which children of mixed Aboriginal and European heritage were forcibly removed from Aboriginal societies and placed in so-called ‘half-caste’ institutions where they were trained for service and assimilation into the vision of a white Australia. Such policies continued well into the 20th century, and the people directly affected by them are known as the Stolen Generations.”

Cook is a Bidjara man from Queensland who was given up for adoption by his biological mother shortly after his birth in 1968. While his adopted mother encouraged a strong understanding of Aboriginal culture, he “never felt that connection to [his] indigenous ancestry”.

Making art is his way of better understanding both Aboriginal culture and racial prejudice in Australia.

The Mission was created using a range of archival imagery, including family photographs and documents from his personal collection. The baby in two of the works is Michael himself.

Image details: Michael Cook (b. 1968), The Mission [Typical Aboriginal Picaninny], 2011, inkjet print. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Michael Cook, 2015.

❊ When ❊

From: Friday 27th of July 2018  To  Sunday 3rd of March 2019
Time: Tuesday - Sunday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

❊ Venue | Location ❊

 Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery [ view ]
 Dunn Place Hobart Tasmania 7000 || Map
 Telephone: 03 6165 7000

➼ Venue: 5 Calendar events | View Events

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Michael Cook: The Mission 


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