Brook Andrew often reproduces historical imagery on a large scale, re-investigating the ways in which Australian Indigenous people have been represented in history.
The Island V 2008 interrogates notions of Australia as a savage and romantic land by examining an image from Wilhelm Blandowski’s Australien in 142 Photographischen 1862. The following notes are an English translation of the original text accompanying the image:
Plate 67: If the kangaroo is publicly known as harmless, this is a misconception. Many, even very strong dogs die during the kangaroo hunt…Humans have to watch out for him as well, for it has happened on occasion that the kangaroo has grabbed a person, carried him to the nearest water and held him under the surface until he believes the person has drowned.
Andrew’s response to this fantastical story incorporates an anonymous Aboriginal man. His stance, with a club raised overhead, is ambiguous: is he joining the hunt or merely another strange and threatening inhabitant of this land?
Translation Copyright: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2007.