About our RAP cover art

On the cover of GML’s first Reconciliation Action Plan is work by contemporary First Nations artist Tony Albert from his ‘You Wreck Me’ series.

In ‘You Wreck Me’, Tony Albert plays on Australia’s self-deprecating humour (known as ‘taking the piss’) to create 50 unique collages that offer a sharp and timely questioning of our national history. Albert’s political interpretation of Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’ features himself, painted up for ceremony, ploughing down a monument of Captain Cook, recalling the reductive representations that are often imposed on First Nations peoples.

Hard-hitting truths are sometimes difficult to express. Often artists can tackle controversial issues and convey complexity eloquently. Tony Albert’s ‘You Wreck Me’ series is no exception. It playfully and powerfully expresses some of the myriad challenges implicit in colonialism that are at the heart of Australian nationhood.

Aboriginal history and heritage are central to Australian politics, culture and identity. Tony’s work resonates with a provocation, helping us creatively imagine how we might work towards an honest reckoning with the past and best negotiate our different historical narratives to together get closer to equality and social justice.

Tony’s work is visually and intellectually compelling. It motivates us to remember that telling the truth about our past matters for reconciliation, for our nation and all our nation’s peoples.

Read GML’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan.


Cover image:
Tony Albert
You Wreck Me #9, 2020
Printed photographs and vintage
Captain Cook ephemera on archival paper
24.5 x 24.5 cm
Courtesy of Sullivan+Strumpf


Tony Albert. Photo © Mel Savage