22nd Biennale of Sydney will reopen mid-June and extend to September

Biennale of Sydney

Along with reopening of restaurants across New South Wales, it appears the 22nd Biennale of Sydney has plans on welcoming art lovers back to its full public program. The free contemporary art exhibition, which takes place across various Sydney art institutions, will reopen from 16th June with its entire collection of more than 700 artworks by 101 artists and collectives from around the world.

The exhibition was originally opened back in March but, due to the pandemic, closed to the public after only 10 days. Now, along with museums and galleries, the art program is picking up right where it left off and extending past its original conclusion date of 8th June all the way to September.

This year’s Biennale, titled NIRIN, is under the artistic direction of acclaimed Indigenous Australian artist Brook Andrew and highlights powerful installations from Artspace and Campbelltown Art Centre all the way to Cockatoo Island and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

NIRIN, meaning “edge” in Wiradjuri, seeks to push audiences to see beyond the familiar and to challenge history by being a part of the story, the inspiration, and imagined futures. To assist, the Biennale has put together a public program of over 600 events – most of them being free – with live and site-specific artist activations throughout.

“Now, more than ever, we need art to connect, collaborate and heal – all core themes of NIRIN,” said CEO for the Biennale of Sydney Barbara Moore. “Reopening the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with extended exhibition dates gives people an opportunity to enjoy some of the best contemporary art from around the world, and there is no better way to do that than through a physical experience.”

Must-see works this year include Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens’ powerful installation in the vestibule of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, an extensive photographic archive for Gamilaroi/Gomeroi Murri Yinah artist Barbara McGrady at Campbelltown Arts Centre, Tennant Creek Brio’s dynamic series of paintings at Artspace, video works by Aziz Hazara and Erkan Özgen at MCA, and the complete sensory experience of Ibrahim Mahama’s large scale installation in the Turbine Hall of Cockatoo Island.

Do note that, in-line with decisions made by the National Cabinet as communicated by the NSW Government, the National Art School in Darlinghurst remains closed to the public. This may change in the near-future, but for now the works currently being exhibited at the National Art School will be relocated to another location so that they are accessible to the public.

To plan your visit head to biennaleofsydney.art.

Photo: Ibrahim Mahama, No Friend but the Mountains 2012-2020, 2020, charcoal jute sacks, sacks, metal tags and scrap metal tarpaulin, dimensions variable. Installation view (2020) for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, Cockatoo Island. Courtesy the artist; White Cube; and Apalazzo Gallery, Brescia. Photograph: Zan Wimberle.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.

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