The 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), titled NIRIN, is artist- and First Nations-led, presenting an expansive exhibition of contemporary art that connects local communities and global networks. Meaning edge, NIRIN is a word from Brook’s mother’s Nation, the Wiradjuri people of western New South Wales.
Seven themes inspire NIRIN: Dhaagun (‘earth’: sovereignty and working together); Bagaray-Bang (‘healing’); Yirawy-Dhuray (‘yam-connection’: food); Gurray (‘transformation’); Muriguwal Giiland (‘different stories’); Ngawal-Guyungan (‘powerful ideas’: the power of objects); and Bila (‘river’: environment).
Artistic Director Brook Andrew says, “The urgent states of our contemporary lives are laden with unresolved past anxieties and hidden layers of the supernatural. NIRIN (edge) is about to expose this, demonstrating that artists and creatives have the power to resolve, heal, dismember and imagine futures of transformation for re-setting the world. Sovereignty is at the centre of these actions. I hope that NIRIN gathers life forces of integrity to push through often impenetrable noise.”
For the first time, artists from Nepal, Georgia, Afghanistan, Sudan and Ecuador will participate in the Biennale of Sydney. The exhibition will include artworks across 6 sites: the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Cockatoo Island, the MCA and the National Art School.