The Black Napoleon is a new body of work by Quandamooka artist Megan Cope, created in response to her 2018 artist residency program in France as part of the Australian Print Workshop (APW) program ‘French Connections’. During the APW residency Cope had access to important French public archives and collections of cultural materials relating to early exploration of Australia and the Pacific.
Originally from North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah), Megan Cope’s work is inspired by the stories of her people and the connections Aboriginal people have to Country.
In The Black Napoleon Cope reflects on the story of the Aboriginal leader Eulope from Moreton Bay, who led the Quandamooka people in their resistance battles against British forces. Called the “Black Napoleon” by the colony for his apparent resemblance to Napoleon Bonaparte, his story is just one of the many stories of powerful and clever people defying Empire at the turn of the 19th and 20th century throughout Australia.
This exhibition accompanies the presentation of Megan Cope's RE FORMATION I.
Image: Megan Cope, Nyanba Tahbiyilbanjara Nganany (detail), 2019, lithograph, 55 x 229.5 cm. Courtesy of Australian Print Workshop and the Artist