5 - 28 October


To Cross the Rubicon

paintings, drawings & sculpture by
Bill Cook

This new exhibition by Bill Cook includes drawings, large paintings and sculptural works, and continues on the themes of separation and distance that he has dealt with in previous exhibitions. His works are based on his Greek experiences, and move into the broader Australian themes.

Bill’s wife’s parents migrated to Australia in 1938 from the Greek island of Ikaria. For many Greeks travelling to Athens seemed like going to the other side of the world. Travelling to Australia must have been for many, beyond comprehension.

“I have specifically dealt with the Greek experience because it is still fresh in our family’s oral history” Bill says.

Some works contemporize Greek myths and legends; others deal with images that overlap the family histories of many / most Australians whose ancestors migrated to these shores, evoking separation and impermanence.

The term ‘To cross the Rubicon’ can be described as committing to a particular plan or course of action that cannot be reversed. The phrase refers to how Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River and became embroiled in civil war in 49 BCE. The Rubicon was a small river in north-east Italy, which in the first century BC marked the boundary of Italy with Cisalpine Gaul. By taking his army across the Rubicon into Italy, Julius Caesar broke the law forbidding a general to lead an army out of his own province, and so committed himself to war against the Senate and Pompey

In the Artist Statement for one of his paintings ‘Choice and Consequence’ Bill writes - “To migrate as many young European women did, to marry a man their brother / father met while working in North America, Australia or Canada was to take a giant gamble. The chances of returning if it went badly were nil or tiny. They had crossed their Rubicon

These works are multi-layered with meaning, utilize diversity of media, yet remain accessible to gallery visitors.

Bill’s work is represented in corporate and government collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria and the City Council of Ikaria, Greece.

MEET THE ARTIST - 2pm Sunday 11 November
Free entry, all welcome