Hayley Millar Baker | Untitled (Give the dog the small fish we will cook the big fish) Part 1 | diptychs
Cook Book explores the merging of traditional Aboriginal cultural practices with Westernised 21st Century knowledges and tools. As Aboriginal people, we have passed down stories to the next generation for hundreds of centuries in order to preserve timeless knowledges and our way of life – even through the onslaught of change that invasion and forced assimilation brought with it.
In our contemporary landscape, cultural practices lending from natural systems and environments including hunting, cooking, crafts, building, and language have extended to incorporate Western technologies and tools. The same practices have the same outcomes, however, during the ‘making’ period we are now able to integrate contemporary tools to provide opportunities for cultural practices and knowledges to be revisited in order to adapt to a fast-paced and ever-changing environment.
Cook Book considers how Western implements have become part of Indigenous cultural practices in day-to-day activities through a play on language that acts as a narration. It is through the translation of phrases and instructions that Cook Book emphasises how our timeless practices and knowledges have evolved to ensure cultural continuity in the 21st Century, despite the immeasurable changes around us.