Brook Andrew
The island II 2008
mixed media on Belgian linen, edition 2/3
250 x 300 cm
Collection of The University of Queensland, purchased 2008
Courtesy of the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne

30 January – 26 April 2009

Brook Andrew’s The island series is based on images from William Blandowski’s (1822–1878) album of photographs of engravings, titled Australien in 142 Photographischen Abbildungen. Prussian naturalist Blandowski collaborated with the Yarree Yarree (Nyeri Nyeri) people in collecting and identifying specimens, as well as inspiring drawings of various Indigenous practices.

Andrew’s reproductions, set on coloured foil, show the romanticisation of so-called ‘primitive’ peoples and their cultural expressions. Seen through twenty-first century eyes, they are fantastical and utopian imaginings of Indigenous life that can critically reflect on Australia’s colonial past.