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Reproduced courtesy of the artist and Andrew Baker Art Dealer

The nips are getting bigger / I'd better go get somethin' harder #7 (whiskey bottle)

Date: 2015
Dimensions:
Overall: 455 × 105 × 80 mm
Medium: Ceramic, natural fibres, animal skin, feathers
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Karla Dickens
Classification:Art
Object Name: Bottle
Object No: 00054617

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    Description
    A whiskey bottle in the shape of Captain Cook used by Karla Dickens in her body of work 'The nips are getting bigger / I'd better go get somethin' harder'. This work features a selection of beer and whiskey bottles modified by Dickens as a commentary on the devastating effect alcohol, tobacco and disease have had on Australia's Indigenous people.

    This ceramic bottle is in the shape of Captain Cook, who is depicted standing on the deck of a ship with the ship's wheel behind him and a pillar with a chart showing Australia in front. In a relaxed and confident stance, Cook's right hand is on his hip and the left hand is over the chart. He is wearing the Royal Navy uniform with blue coat and yellow trim with a large red book at his feet. Karla Dickens has reworked Cook in this instance by painting most of his face and hands brown but leaving the cheeks unpainted and giving the impression that he has a tribal face paint design. On top of Cook's head and coming out from the bottle, are eleven brown patterned feathers tied on by a string of snake skin simulating a turban. A long string of snake skin falls to the right side and crosses over his back and around his arm. This string has a bunch of small black feathers at the bottom.

    This whiskey bottle accompanies the beer bottle (00054602).

    SignificanceThis artwork demonstrates the vibrant style of a contemporary Aboriginal Australian artist, and assists in the interpretation of Aboriginal history, culture and tradition and gives an Indingenous dialogue to European occupation of Australia.
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