The Australian National Maritime Museum acknowledges all traditional custodians of the lands and waters throughout Australia and pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.
When Captain James Cook first arrived on Australian shores on that historic day in 1770, he wrote in his journal that the Aboriginal people ‘may appear to some to be the most wretched people upon Earth, but in reality they are far more happier than we Europeans’.
It is this journal entry that has inspired the Indigenous artist Michael Cook many generations and centuries later to produce his inspired and progressive art.
His work poses many ‘what-if’ questions, specifically. ‘what if the British had realised Aborigines were indeed civilised?