2022 Finalists

Michael COOK

Artist statement: In this the second last image of the series, the children return on the same dirt track we saw in ‘Enculturation #1’. They walk with the Aboriginal women, older and happier, now comfortably traversing the landscape. Wildflowers bloom in the foreground, softening the appearance of Australia’s difficult histories, and old dormitory style beds lie discarded in the landscape. Bunches of flowers are strewn over the surface of the beds, with a sense that removals (and the historically cruel system of segregating children from parents) have been consigned to the graveyard past. The girls carry stuffed toy rabbits, as though, with their knowledge, they may overcome another introduced and pestilent species that continues to plague the Australian environment. There is a sense that the realities of the industrial and technological ages, and their increasingly urgent impacts, may be resolved with greater attention to the experience of First Nations peoples.


Enculturation #5  2022
from the series Enculturation
pigment ink-jet print
100.0 x 180.0 cm
courtesy of the artist, THIS IS NO FANTASY (Melbourne) and Jan Murphy Gallery (Brisbane)


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