Broken Dreams - Dialogue with Michael Cook

“Photography can compel us to confront issues that are potentially distressing and controversial." - David Griffin, National Geographic

In a world increasingly immersed in technology and driven by fads, Cook's 'Broken Dreams' exhibition draws viewers back into the past and to contemplate  ancestry, the land and what kind of future or reconcilement of the past we would like to work towards.  His images are marked by a haunting beauty that invites viewers to spend time with them. 

MC - Most feedback that I get is, that it makes people feels good; which is good for me to hear... which is what I’m trying to do.

One of the main things I do is try to bring things across in a positive way because I feel that it’s such a negative history in Australia and some artists really shove it in your face, and I think people close themselves off to that.  I feel if that if I bring it across in firstly, in the beautiful images, and secondly - in a kind of positive way, people absorb it and they’ll still see the history, and they'll still see how bad that history can be or maybe see it in a negative way... but I want to bring it across with some beauty in the image so that people  can make their own judgment on it.  You get all these different people coming to the exhibition, some  have studied Aboriginal history all their life, and they know much more than me and they'll get more out of the images than what I can give them. They're very different images, and you can define your own meaning in each one.   I hold back on what it means to me personally; I rather that people go on what it means to them depending on their knowledge of history.

Michael Cook, 'Broken Dreams'

1 Nov – 1 Dec 2012

October Gallery

24 Old Gloucester Street,


London WC1N 3AL


Michael Cook, Broken Dreams #9, 2010, Inkjet print, 125 x 100cm.  Edition 8.

Image courtesy of October Gallery. Photography the Artist.  All copyright is the artist's.

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