Brook Andrew
born Australia 1970
Marks and Witness: A lined crossing in Tribute to William Barak 2011
polyvinyl chloride, neon, transformer
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 2011
© Brook Andrew, courtesy the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne

Brook Andrew

The Barak Commissions

born Australia 1970

Marks and Witness: A lined crossing in Tribute to William Barak
2011 Melbourne, Victoria
vinyl wall drawing, neon
Felton Bequest 2011

‘William Barak’s extraordinary life marks and bears witness to an absolute point of precipice in cultural (ex) change and trauma prominent in early settlement society. His role as Wurundjeri Ngurungaeta must stay strong in the consciousness of First Peoples’ legacy in this country and for visitors from afar. The power and grace of Barak’s actions in balancing two worlds in collision demand absolute respect amongst other Australian sung heroes. Barak’s legacy is a multifaceted crystal where light pierces even the fiercest darkness to glow colour. His representations of culture in dance and animals rejoice in a culture so easily misunderstood yet so powerful. It is in contemporary times where many now see clearly the presence of Barak’s legacy.

Marks and Witness uses Wiradjuri designs of zigzag and diamond to represent Barak’s use of possum skin cloak designs of both moieties in his drawings. The zigzag and diamond designs on opposite walls are connected through neon lines to add another dizzying perspective that represents fire and Barak’s strong ideas and understanding of culture.’ Brook Andrew 2010