Michael Cook Accelerates to London
Queensland artist, Michael Cook, is one of five outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, working in the creative industries, who have been chosen as recipients of this year’s ACCELERATE program offered by The British Council. The five were announced on 5 September, at a gala event held at Melbourne’s Ian Potter Museum of Art. Presided over by The British Council’s Media Partner NITV’s Natalie Ahmat, and featuring an a cappella performance by members of the Black Arm Band, the event celebrated the great wealth of talent among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts practitioners, while foregrounding the importance of leadership within the sector, as identified by keynote speaker, Professor Kerry Arabena.
Michael is one of two Queenslanders in this year’s program, sponsored by Arts Queensland and various Australian governments , the other being Solomon Booth from Kubin Village on Moa Island in the Torres Strait. Solomon is a visual artist and currently the Chairman of the Ngalmun Lagau Minaral Art Centre and Chairman of the Indigenous Art Centre Alliance.
The Accelerate Program will enable Michael to continue building on his career as a visual artist and establish his work at a higher International level and work towards representation internationally. Michael is currently represented by Andrew Baker Art Dealer in Brisbane and Diane Tanzer Gallery + Projects in Melbourne. As a result of this grant support, Michael will be visiting London from 8 November until 1 December to undertake a program of professional development in the area of leadership development and professional mentorship. The UK Program (8 November – 1 December, 2013) provides an opportunity to make international connections, to observe different leadership styles and structures and to gain broader insight into their own field and professional practice.
The British Council’s ACCELERATE program is designed for future leaders in the arts and creative industries. The leadership development which is part of ACCELERATE is focused on personal and professional development and planning. The program is based on the principle that future leaders need both time and support to develop their own career plans, explore their leadership strengths and weaknesses and build local and international networks.
This program will be augmented by Michael’s own research of organisations and individuals of interest to his work and career. Current opportunities increasingly allow Michael to show his work to an international audience. In 2012-13, Michael exhibited a solo show in London, was part of a group exhibition in Los Angeles, and has shown recently as a solo artist at the 2013 Auckland Art Fair.
CREATIVEMOVE is working with Michael, his Brisbane art dealer Andrew Baker, and Ken Smith, Agent General and Trade & Investment Commissioner, Queensland Government Trade & Investment Queensland (Europe) to make the most of this opportunity of being in London, one of the world’s capitals of contemporary art.