NIRIN NGAAY

An introduction to and excerpts from NIRIN NGAAY, the official publication of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney

By Biennale of Sydney

22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN

NIRIN NGAAY is a compilation, a collection, a volume, an Artist Book, a Reader, an artwork, a sprawling, excessive heterogeneous space of connections.

NIRIN NGAAY Title Pages NIRIN NGAAY Title Pages (2020)Biennale of Sydney

Published as part of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020) titled 'NIRIN', a Wiradjuri word meaning ‘edge’, this book is a space where ideas, themes, research, and experiments arising out of NIRIN find places on pages. 

NIRIN NGAAY Title Pages Back CoverBiennale of Sydney

'NGAAY' is a Wiradjuri word meaning ‘see.’ To really see ‘edges’, might also be to sense and feel and trace them, they come into view with clarity, hover in the periphery, or drift away like memories.

Traversing many disciplines and forms, encompassing new and previously published works, complete works as well as excerpts and fragments and responses, each piece may ask for new modes of reading and seeing. Read and see and touch at random or with resolve – we hope that you will appreciate the way these works unfold and twist together, creating movements of meaning between them.

Listen to the introduction by Jessyca Hutchens, Curatorial Assistant to the Artistic Director for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney and a contributor and editor of NIRIN NGAAY, then explore the artist's excerpts.

READING NIRIN | Introduction by Jessyca Hutchens (2020)Biennale of Sydney

Karla Dickens

A Dickensian Circus

The driving forces behind Karla’s need to communicate are her cross-cultural heritage often focusing on her Indigenous (Wiradjuri) bloodline, sexuality and life experiences as a soulful connected woman. She uses recycled everyday items to explore notions of persistence amidst inherent violence and misunderstanding.

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Karla Dickens NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Karla Dickens (2020) by Karla DickensBiennale of Sydney

Reading NIRIN by Karla Dickens
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NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Karla Dickens Page 2Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Karla Dickens Page 5Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Karla Dickens Page 4Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Karla Dickens Page 3Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Karla Dickens Page 6Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Karla Dickens Page 7Biennale of Sydney

Gina Athena Ulysse

Basquiat’s Lwas
New Rules of Engagement: A Remix
A Manifesto for Dreamers


Dr. Gina Athena Ulysse is a feminist interdisciplinary artist, anthropologist and writer. Her work has appeared in Feminist Studies, Gastronomica, Meridians, Souls, Third Text, Transition, and other venues. Her last book Because When God Is Too Busy: Haiti, me & THEWORLD (2017) – is a collection of poetry, performance texts, and photographs.

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Gina Athena Ulysses NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Gina Athena Ulysses (2020) by Gina Athena UlyssesBiennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Gina Athena Ulysses Page 2Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Gina Athena Ulysses Page 3Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Gina Athena Ulysses Page 4Biennale of Sydney

Andrew Rewald

On the Movement of Plants

Andrew Rewald uses plants as medium and subject matter for experiential social engagement with performance, installation and mixed media work. This work links broader social and ecological awareness in urban and rural spaces to agriculture, foraging and cookery processes that highlight plant – food – people relationships in cultural and environmental contexts.

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Andrew Rewald NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Andrew Rewald (2020) by Andrew RewaldBiennale of Sydney

Reading NIRIN Andrew Rewald - Part 1
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NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Andrew Rewald Page 2Biennale of Sydney

Reading NIRIN Andrew Rewald - Part 2
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NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Andrew Rewald Page 3Biennale of Sydney

Reading NIRIN Andrew Rewald - Part 3
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NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Andrew Rewald Page 4Biennale of Sydney

Reading NIRIN Andrew Rewald - Part 4
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NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Andrew Rewald Page 5Biennale of Sydney

Reading NIRIN Andrew Rewald - Part 5
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NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Andrew Rewald Page 6Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Andrew Rewald Page 7Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Andrew Rewald Bush Medicine by Jimmy Frank and Joseph WilliamsBiennale of Sydney

"Bush Medicine" was selected for inclusion by Andrew Rewald.

Emily Karaka

KINGITANGA KI TE AO >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> IHUMĀTAO: the land >>>>>>MUST be returned to Manawhenua

Emily Karaka is of Ngati Te Ahi Waru bloodlines with whakapapa to Puketapapa and Ihumatao from her father John Mita Karaka, named after his Great Grandfather Mita Karaka who went to England with the Maori King to address Treaty of Waitangi concerns in 1914. Karaka has painted and exhibited her works for 40 years and worked since 1992 for her other iwi Ngai Tai ki Tamaki addressing its environmental concerns and Treaty of Waitangi claims. Her paintings address political and environmental issues and Maori values.

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Emily Karaka NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Emily Karaka (2020) by Emily KarakaBiennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Emily Karaka Page 2Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Emily Karaka Page 3Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Emily Karaka Page 4Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Emily Karaka Page 5Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Emily Karaka Page 6Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Emily Karaka Page 7Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Emily Karaka Page 8Biennale of Sydney

Stephen Gilchrist

Surfacing histories: Memorials and public art in Perth

Stephen Gilchrist is Associate Lecturer of Indigenous Art at the University of Sydney and belongs to the Yamatji people. He is a writer and curator who has worked with the Indigenous Australian collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the British Museum, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College.

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Stephen Gilchrist NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Stephen Gilchrist (2020) by Stephen GilbertBiennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Stephen Gilchrist Page 2Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Stephen Gilchrist Page 3Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Stephen Gilchrist Page 4Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Stephen Gilchrist Page 5Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Stephen Gilchrist Page 6Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Stephen Gilchrist Page 7Biennale of Sydney

Gladys Milroy

The Black Feather

Gladys Milroy is an elder of the Palyku people of Western Australia, a writer and artist. Throughout her life, Glad has been a strong advocate for improving the wellbeing of Aboriginal peoples and believes that family, culture and land are central to this. Glad has been actively involved in the Palyku Native Title claim, who in 2019 finally received a successful determination. Now in her 90’s, Glad is still writing stories and advocating for cultural rights.

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Gladys Milroy NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Gladys Milroy (2020) by Gladys MilroyBiennale of Sydney

Reading The Black Feather by Gladys Milroy
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NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Gladys Milroy Page 2Biennale of Sydney

Denilson Baniwa

Asmática-Bananeira

Denilson Baniwa was born in Rio Negro, Amazonas in Brazil. His career as an artist was shaped early in childhood, informed by the cultural references of his people. Baniwa is an anthropophagous artist who appropriates Western languages to decolonise them in his work. Baniwa is known for breaking paradigms and opening ways for Indigenous people in national territories to be protagonists.

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Denilson Baniwa NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Denilson Baniwa (2020) by Denilson BaniwaBiennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Denilson Baniwa Page 2Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Denilson Baniwa Page 3Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Denilson Baniwa Page 4Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Denilson Baniwa Page 5Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Denilson Baniwa Page 6Biennale of Sydney

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Denilson Baniwa Page 7Biennale of Sydney

An English translation of Denilson Baniwa's poem

NIRIN NGAAY Pages: Denilson Baniwa Page 8Biennale of Sydney

In the following episode of Fridays with Brook, Stuart Geddes and Trent Walter speak with NIRIN Artistic Director, Brook Andrew, about their own artistic processes in printed matter and how they came to collaborate and produce two publications for NIRIN.

Credits: Story

The two publications, the exhibition catalogue NIRIN (edge) and the 'reader' NIRIN NGAAY (see the edge) were created in collaboration with editors Jessyca Hutchens (Assistant Curator to the Artistic Director) and Brook Andrew (Artistic Director)

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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NIRIN: Art From the Edge
The Biennale of Sydney (2020) presents contemporary art from around the globe in a First Nations-led exhibition
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