A Deeper Beauty
A selection of drawings, paintings and sculpture by Bill Cook
11 March – 3 April 2022 (WHOLE GALLERY)
An artist with something to say, Bill Cook’s mastery across a diverse range of mediums is impressive, most recently ceramic sculptures that reference the ‘exile, longing and marginalisation’ of migration. His large paintings and drawings relate to the migrant experience, specifically the Greek people who have chosen to make a new home in Australia. The imposing works are figurative, realistic and multi-layered with meanings.
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. Traveling to Australia must have been for many, beyond comprehension.
“My work sets out to portray the emotional and psychological cost of such journeys,” Bill says. “I have specifically dealt with the Greek experience because it is still fresh in our family’s oral history. It is also easily translated and overlaps the family histories of every Australian whose ancestors migrated to these shores.”
Through his paintings, drawings and ceramic sculpture Bill has set out to capture the last embrace, the final farewell and the complex feelings of adventure coupled with apprehension. The last visual memory of relatives on the pier, figures caught momentarily in night lighting, and the conflicts between the culture of origin and the culture of your new home.
This exhibition includes the launch of a 272 page book of his work, printed by Wakefield press. This powerful tome highlights his oeuvre as an artist with more than fifty years professional practice.