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National Museum of Australia

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Undiscovered #1, from a series of ten prints by Michael Cook, 2010


Undiscovered #1, from a series of ten prints by Michael Cook, 2010

Object information

Physical description

A photographic print in muted colours, on white card, featuring an indigenous man dressed in a 19th Century military uniform which consists of, a red jacket, white pants and a cocked hat. The man is standing amongst breaking waves while holding a rifle. In the foreground of the picture is an emu standing on the shoreline diagonally in front of the male figure. There is a stamp on the reverse of the print that reads 'Michael Cook Original / Series title Undiscovered / Print Title #1 Edition 5/8'. Below that text but within the confines of the stamp is a fingerprint and a signature.

Statement of significance

The collection comprises a suite of ten inkjet prints on archival Hahnemuhle photo rag paper by Michael Cook, Bidjara artist of southwest Queensland.

The prints are elegant, dreamlike and beautiful, featuring unlikely images of an Aboriginal man dressed in the red-coated garb of a British soldier of the 18th century wading in the breaking waters of the Australian surf. In may of the images he is juxtaposed with a native creature and some object of colonial nature. The collection is an important addition to the National Historical Collection as it explores the nature of colonial and Indigenous difference from an Indigenous perspective, and provides a vehicle through which discussions about colonisation of the land may be held.

Object information

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