We filter and cherry-pick history in order to make our national myths, according to the myths we believe need making. In the 18th Century, the narrative, story, and myth of Captain Cook was that of a stern explorer, a Quaker, navigator, cartographer and courageous sea captain who lead his men in adverse conditions to chart almost a third of the globe. His achievements and legacy for many hundreds of years were viewed exclusively through the lens of scientific and geographical knowledge- lightly coloured by a hue of a swashbuckling devil-may-care courage.
NAVIGATING COOK will take place at Michael Reid Sydney in collaboration with Hordern House, antiquarian book dealers. Archival books, maps, globes and memorabilia associated with early exploration and travel are juxtaposed with a series of new works from fifteen contemporary artists to chart a nation’s changing attitudes to Cook’s first contact.