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Reproduced courtesy of Adam Hill

Poles Apart

Date: 2013
Display dimensions: 675 × 825 × 20 mm
Overall: 680 × 825 × 20 mm
Medium: Photograph
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Adam Hill
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00054561

User Terms

    A black and white photograph by Adam Hill titled 'Poles Apart' featuring a flag pole seen from the base.

    This photograph is part of a series by Adam Hill looking at the notion of historical erasure, interrogating the impact of Cooks landing here in 1770 by focusing on the present. This image contains the signs of industrial civilisation, the pole and its surroundings giving no indication that there ever were Aboriginal people living here.
    This flag pole is seen without a flag, reminiscent of a ships mast and extends starkly upwards. The simplicity of the image is deceptive as the pole, its function to hoist a flag and its location on the east coast of Australia, all symbolise European settlement in an already settled land.
    SignificanceThis photograph by Adam Hill gives a contemporary Indigenous perspective on first contact and the impact of Eurpoean colonisation. Forms part of the East Coast Encounter exhibition.
    HistoryThis work by Adam Hill was produced for East Coast Encounter, a multi-arts initiative involving Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, writers and songwriters to re-imagine the encounter by Lieutenant James Cook and his crew with Indigenous people in 1770.

    Cook's voyage along the Australian east coast has become central to national historical narratives. The East Coast Encounter project asked artists to re-envisage this seminal journey by imaginatively exploring moments of contact between two world views during these encounters. It also brought these events into the present by incorporating artists' reflections on their relevance today, and their responses to visits to significant contact locations. Topics such as encounter, impact, differing perspectives, nature and culture and views of country are investigated.

    Adam Hill is an Indigenous artist based in Sydney. His work is often confrontational and political, yet can also be humorous. Deceptively simple at first glance, Hills work a painter, sculptor and a photographer often uses images of 'western icons', such as this stark waterfront landscape, to reiterate displacement and questions of identity.

    Hill's photographs for East Coast Encounter look at the notion of historical erasure, interogating the impact of Cooks landing here in 1770 by focusing on the present, and in this image of a flag pole, the by products of European settlement.
    Additional Titles

    Collection title: East Coast Encounters collection

    Primary title: Poles Apart

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