Brook Andrew, Donut, Bridge Lane
Brook Andrew utilises various media to challenge cultural and historical perceptions. Referencing politics, popular culture, the media, nationalism, and colonial and anthropological histories, he comments on both local and global issues regarding race and consumerism.
Donut is a blow-up PVC sculpture, permanently inflated in the shape of an oversized donut floating above Bridge Lane. The surface of the sculpture is adorned with a highly graphic black and white matrix. This pattern is a motif derived from traditional Wiradjuri design that Brook often inserts into his art.
Through this piece, as with his other artworks utilizing this pattern, the artist aims to change the way that we see. Ideas of perspective and how we ‘see’ or read what we see are of great interest to Brook. Donut’s silhouette against the sky is a familiar form in an unfamiliar context and scale. From a distance and with the help of a bit of perspective it is nothing like a regular donut. Transformed into a striking black and white hard-edged object the artwork allows us to imagine an every-day object in a different light.
The spherical shape references many cultures. It is an ancient religious design that draws on both European and Indigenous depictions of time travel and healing. Israeli physicist Amos Ori designed a time machine in this exact shape, and the artworks’ form also echos the circular branches of Aboriginal magic trees. In addition the artist uses the donut shape to signal contemporary pop-culture: a ‘pie in the sky’, something unattainable yet delicious.
Brook specifically chose Bridge Lane for the strong presence of colonial architecture and for its history as the site of a convict lumber yard. Recalling the darker side of colonial history in relation to the treatment of the indigenous population and the convicts, Brook inserts his Wiradjuri reference as a reminder of this past, in an attempt to work against cultural amnesia and hypnosis. With the assistance of time travel we could achieve the impossible yet highly desirable task of rewriting this history.