Brook Andrew, Ancestral Worship (5 pieces)

Image courtesy of the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne

Brook Andrew

Ancestral Worship (5 pieces), 2010
Deck chairs and mixed media installation
Size variable

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Born in Sydney in 1970, Brook Andrew now lives and works in Melbourne. He has exhibited regularly with Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne; Stills Gallery, Sydney; Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide and is now solely represented by Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne

Brook Andrew's work incorporates many different artistic styles. Largely photographic in origin, his work encompasses installation, architecture, public art and landscape design. His works are beautifully striking, contemplative and inspiring creations that markedly challenge our conceptions of ourselves, our environment and our ideas of what an art work should say and what an artist's role is. Beneath Andrew's seemingly obvious amalgamation of text and image with its bright, flashy show-man style of contemporary brilliance lies a more heavy, intellectually imbued message. Andrew seems to seduce his viewer with his alluring aesthetics and when seduced, the viewer is thrown amongst a political revelation of race, history, environment and nature and/or challenged with a complex conceptual engagement with art and these subjects.

The artist
Private collection, Adelaide since 2011

21st Century: Art in the First Decade, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 18 December 2010 – 26 April 2011 

"For Ancestral worship 2010, commissioned for this exhibition, Andrew [places] images of people from post-cards collected over 15 years, now inserted into the present [onto the relaxed deck-chair]. These post-cards or cartes de visite were used for tourism, exotic display or personal use in Australia and other colonised countriesand show details of their original settings. As you see, all but one is within a domestic Western context but Andrew is interested in spaces between exotic/other and civilized: the portrait of the young European women was found on a Melbourne street, discarded and crinkled.The work is a warrior’s challenge, of a sort: one can sit beside the images of these dignified people from the past, rather than on them: the choice is ours. Andrew sees the portraits as ‘ancestors’ or  ‘gods’ – here, now, possibly sunning themselves alongside us, gracing us or haunting us with their presence. These exquisite faces remind us how often our shared humanity is betrayed. It’s a provocation set under playful, though arguably, ceremonial trees, in a fool’s paradise perhaps, but importantly it is also a memorial to our ancestors – whatever their origins.” (Julie Ewington, ‘Brook Andrew - Ancestral Worship’, 21st Century: Art in the First Decade, 2010