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July 20, 2024

Tweed gallery first to present photographer’s new series

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MIchael Cook: Mother (Pram) AP, 2016, inkjet print on paper, 120 x 180cm, collection of Alan Conder and Alan Pigott © Michael Cook
MIchael Cook: Mother (Pram) AP, 2016, inkjet print on paper, 120 x 180cm, collection of Alan Conder and Alan Pigott © Michael Cook

Acclaimed Australian photographer Michael Cook’s latest works, on loan from Hong Kong, went on exhibition at the The Tweed Regional Gallery this week.

The Tweed gallery will be the first public gallery to host the full suite of his latest photographic series, entitled Mother, described as a journey through 13 images of a woman in a deserted Australian landscape.

Gallery director Susi Muddiman said ‘this emotionally engaging series explores a universal theme that is crucial to the well being of all’.

‘The love or absence of a mother is paramount to the development and future of each child the world over,’ Ms Muddiman said.

‘Mother is a journey through 13 images of a woman in a deserted Australian landscape.

‘These are powerful and evocative images that possess an arrested stillness. Each of them speaks to something dramatic, and has a sense of loss or regret.

‘The experience or the idea of loss and longing is something we can all connect to in some way.

‘The “mother” is always alone, her baby absent, although evidence of a child remains in the empty pram, abandoned toys on the hopscotch court, the slackness of the skipping rope.

‘Michael Cook has tackled subjects from the political to the historical since 2009.

‘In Mother we see his most intensely personal work to date. While these images speak directly and poetically to Australia’s Stolen Generation, they also speak to a universal experience of disconnection between mother and child,’ Ms Muddiman said.

Michael Cook said he created ‘artwork about Indigenous issues, past and present, about how the past relates to the present and, eventually, moulds the future. I’m not sure whether I really need to belong anywhere’.

‘Put simply, I’m a person of mixed ancestry – some of which is Indigenous. I look at the big picture, I am Australian, I tell my stories to Australians of all races and also to those beyond our shores. I am a part of the human race,’ Cook said.

This exhibition was presented to coincide with the two-day 2016 Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference hosted by Tweed Shire Council which closes today.

Michael Cook’s Mother will be on display at the Gallery till Sunday 11 December.

Mother will complemented by an engaging series of programs and events including:

Exhibition launch event

Friday 16 September, 6pm-8pm. Free: no bookings required. Join the gallery for the launch of Michael Cook’s exhibition Mother along with Resolution: new Indigenous photomedia, a travelling exhibition from the National Gallery of Australia.

Artist talk

Sunday 23 October, 2pm. Free: no bookings required. Join Michael Cook in conversation with gallery director Ms Muddiman as he reflects on Mother, a new body of work that unravels the artist’s personal history and explores broader universal ideas of motherhood, belonging and identity.

Student enrichment day

Tuesday 25 October, 9.45am-2.30pm, $10 per student. Bookings essential by phoning the gallery on 02 6670 2790, Wednesday-Sunday 10am-5pm.

Artist Michael Cook will share his expertise in digital image-making and post-production techniques with students as part of this one-day intensive focused on contemporary photomedia practice. (Bookings by school representatives only; for year 10-12 students only; limited to three students per school).

Also available, to secondary school teachers, is an education resource featuring an essay by Rhoda Roberts. This resource is available for downloading from the gallery’s website at http://artgallery.tweed.nsw.gov.au/ResourcesAndActivities

The Tweed Regional Gallery acknowledges the generous support of Hong Kong art collectors Alan Conder and Alan Pigott in presenting this exhibition.


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