Brook Andrew - Hope & Peace
Exhibition: 3 August to 3 September, 2005
Stills Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Brook Andrew. Showing his virtuosity across medium and style Hope & Peace features large-scale screen prints using a mix of traditional Wiradjuri designs, consumer icons and a portrait of Anthony Mundine - The Man. Andrew worked with Australian master screen printer Larry Rawling to produce these impressive works.
The new works in Hope & Peace juxtapose the traditional designs from Andrew's own (Wiradjuri) culture, usually found on shields and boomerangs, with images of cigarette and chewing gum packets found during his travels, packets that offer the prospect of Hope or Peace for a few dollars. There is a retro aesthetic in the works bringing to mind the innocent faith of the 50's in consumer goods and heroes. As with much of his earlier work, Andrew's use of text is seductive and ironic. It points to the false promises of corporations and of white culture. Words/brands such as Frontier Lights, BlackBlack and Black & White Special Cut hint at the way white cultures have impacted on indigenous cultures, consuming them. Andrew also suggests the complexity of issues surrounding propaganda, racism, addiction and celebrity.
In one work, Peace, the Man and Hope, an image of Aboriginal boxer Anthony Mundine is flanked by Wiradjuri designs containing Peace and Hope cigarette packets. With his outstretched rainbow-coloured arms are we to read heroism, protection or suffering? Andrew offers us no glib conclusions about this postcolonial Aboriginal man.
Brook Andrew is an interdisciplinary artist who works conceptually with installation, digital media, photography, sound, performance, film & neon.
His artworks deal with contemporary global culture, drawing attention to issues such as identity, race, consumption, celebrity and politics. He has been showing his work since 1992, in exhibitions including Blakness: Blak City Culture! at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Oltre il Mito (Beyond Myth): Venice Biennale satellite (1999). He has had a number of significant public art commissions including for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Sydney International Airport and the Queensland Museum. His work continues to be shown nationally and internationally and is held in many private and public collections.