2020 Telstra NATSIAA installation view Photo: Charlie Bliss
2020 marks the 250 years since the landing of Cook, bringing about tumultuous and traumatic discussions around our nation's history and identity. Cook and his voyage is an enduring symbol for the loss, hurt, pain and grief our people have experienced since the beginning of colonisation. Further to this Cook is a powerful enduring symbol for the omnipresent, white patriarchal, dominant narrative and its continuing assertion of power over First Nations and minority people’s historical representation.
Created in response to the 250 year anniversary of Lieutenant James Cook’s arrival, ’HIStoryVessels’ looks to reclaim agency of historic representation of Aboriginal people in Australia. These vessels are created from deconstructed pages of the Ladybird history book ‘The Story of Captain Cook’ where I aim to take this narrative and reconstruct it as a story of personal and cultural resilience, beauty and strength. The collection of 10 objects explores and presents multiple ways in which I ritualistically transform Cook’s printed story through acts of analysis, deconstruction and reconstruction to rewrite his story as my own. This act of defiance and personal dominance over his story is presented using vessels reminiscent of those which my ancestors would have created. Importantly, through the use of materials and techniques this body of work is a ‘rebinding’ of a book, rather than an exploration of weaving.
WINNER 2020 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award - Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D Award - Link