Australia 1770–1861 / Frontier Wars


A vigorous reinterpretation of Australia’s colonial past, as seen through contemporary and historical artworks.


ISBN: 9781760760502 Category:


It is now over 250 years since James Cook and his crew set sail in the Endeavour to explore the Pacific. In 1770 they reached the east coast of a continent that has been inhabited for more than 65,000 years by many Indigenous groups with different languages and diverse cultures. Cook’s landing marked the beginning of a history that still has repercussions today, a history that both unites and divides Australia and highlights the continuing need for reconciliation.

Colony explores the immediate and far-reaching impact of British colonisation of Australia through historical, twentieth-century and contemporary art. Through 1000 essential pieces of our cultural heritage, this book highlights the confronting and complex perspectives of the shared history of First Peoples and European settlers.

This is an essential exploration of Australia’s complex colonial mindset: from the tragedies of a contested beginning to the conversations that allow us now to contemplate a better future.

Includes works by William Barak, Christian Thompson, Maree Clarke, Julie Gough and Brook Andrew, among many others.

‘Art becomes a powerful force when it provokes us to think anew.’ – Tony Birch

Additional information

Weight 2300 g
Dimensions 23.7 x 29.3 cm
Publisher name Thames & Hudson Australia Pty Ltd
Publication date 1 August 2019
Number of pages
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Cathy Leahy, Judith Ryan, Isobel Crombie, Myles-Russell Cook, and Megan Patty
Dimensions 23.7 x 29.3 cm
Weight 2300 g
Cathy Leahy is Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Judith Ryan AM is Senior Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Dr Isobel Crombie is Assistant Director, Curatorial and Collection Management at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Megan Patty is Publisher and Head of Publications, Photographic Services and Library at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.