Wesley Enoch on Brook Andrew

Part of a series of new perspectives on portraiture commissioned for Archie Plus

Brook Andrew

AUSTRALIA VI Theatre and remembrance of death

mixed media on Belgian linen, 1/3 + 2 AP
Gift of Geoff Ainsworth AM 2014
© Brook Andrew
Courtesy the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne

I am drawn to the figures huddled with their backs to us, some with beards and curly hair, some lost in the darkened corner. They look into the river and at the tree – is it a scar tree, with the memory of a shield for some long-lost warrior? Or are the bones of their ancestors nestled in the bough of that prominent branch? Are they mourning? Are they gathered in anticipation of action? Their faces are not for us to see, their emotions discreet and disguised in the gloom. All the time the river is constant; it flows with no sense of being observed. The mystified waterway mutters, ‘Whose life matters?’

Wesley Enoch, artist director of Sydney Festival, Quandamooka man and noted shit-stirrer

View this work and more as part of the Gallery’s collection online