AboutThe October Gallery is proud to present Broken Dreams, an exhibition of works by Michael Cook, an Indigenous artist from Queensland, Australia. Broken Dreams is Cook's solo debut in the United Kingdom and is the latest exhibition in an on-going collaboration between the October Gallery, Andrew Baker Art Dealer, Brisbane and QIAMEA.
Broken Dreams, a series of 10 profound and seductive photographic prints, features a beautiful young Indigenous woman who, after encountering Europeans, dreams of travelling to their world, eventually becoming disillusioned and falling victim to the shackles of colonialism. Cook's use of a redacted colour palette and scale emphasises the poetic, ethereal dreamscape in which the young woman moves, always accompanied by the recurring motif of a brightly coloured Rainbow Lorikeet. Utilising the slick aesthetic imagery of Vogue or Vanity Fair, he draws the viewer into an on-going socio-political encounter.
Accompanying Broken Dreams will be individual works from his photographic series, Australian Landscapes, Stickman, The Mission and Undiscovered (2011), Cook's re-imagining of a colonial past in which the Aboriginal people, dressed in British naval uniforms, arrive in tall ships to claim ownership of Australia.
Born in Brisbane of Aboriginal ancestry, Cook's paternal family are Bidjara people from South-Western Queensland. He gained an international reputation working as a fashion photographer for twenty-five years prior to becoming to an artist. Cook first came to notice winning a coveted Deadly Award as âVisual Artist of the Year' at the 14th and 17th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander awards in 2008 and 2011. A spectacular artistic debut has seen his limited but impressive body of work collected by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, who bought two complete series of works from exhibitions, held in 2010 and 2011 in Brisbane. Michael Cook's work featured in the recent exhibition, unDisclosed: the 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia. Cook has been selected to exhibit at the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT7) which opens in December at QAGOMA, Brisbane.