Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

troublemag | December 12, 2018

Scroll to top

Top

Loading images...

Listing State TAS

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Dunn Place

The Mission: Michael Cook
Until 3 March 2019

Salon Gallery

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.

Opening hours:

10:00 am – 4:00 pm daily (26 December – 31 March)
10:00 am – 4:00 pm Tuesday – Sunday (1 April – 24 December)
10:00 am – 4:00 pm Tasmanian public holiday Mondays year-round

Closed Good Friday, Anzac Day (25 April) and Christmas Day