2020 Program


EXHIBITION DATES: Thursday 9  January — Saturday 8 February 2020
OPENING NIGHT: Wednesday 8  January, 6–9pm
OPENING HOURS: Monday–Saturday, 11am–5pm
CURATOR: Djon Mundine OAM

We are open SUNDAY 26 JANUARY, 11am–5pm

As part of the 2020 Sydney Festival, the National Art School proudly presents Who are these strangers and where are they going?, a 30-year survey of the work of Dr Fiona Foley, one of Australia’s most acclaimed, insightful and challenging contemporary artists, curated by Djon Mundine OAM. Running from January 8 to February 8 in the National Art School Gallery, the show premiered in August 2019 at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in Victoria. The title comes from a new work, a soundscape based on the oldest known Aboriginal song documenting the first sighting of Captain Cook in 1770, by Foley’s ancestors the Badtjala people of K’gari (Fraser Island).

Image: Fiona Foley, HHH #1 (detail)  2004, Hahnemühle Archival Inkjet Print, 76 x 101 cm, Courtesy the artist and Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

Misfit: Collage and queer practice 15 February — 15 March 2020
Paul Yore, Mother Tongue 2017 (detail) mixed media textile, beads, buttons,
sequins, acrylic, enamel, watercolour and found objects, 348 x 212 cm (irreg).
Image courtesy and © the artist. Photo: Devon Ackermann

EXHIBITION DATES: Friday 14 February — Saturday 14 March 2020
EXHIBITION LOCATION: Rayner Hoff Project Space
OPENING NIGHT: Friday 14 February, 6–9pm
OPENING HOURS: Monday–Saturday, 11am–5pm
CURATOR: Scott Elliot

Queer artists have long understood the power of collage as a tool for manipulating the singular narratives that so often exclude them. Misfit examines the idea of collage as a medium especially susceptible to embodying queer experience. Presenting works by Australian and international artists who engage with performance, video, text, photography, textile, painting, paper and sound, Misfit looks at how the radically reassembled can veer us closer to unseen truths, productive ambiguities and powerful positions of resistance.

Artists: Tony Albert, Archie Barry, Gary Carsley, Brian Fuata, Deborah Kelly, Del Lumanta, Sarah Rodigari, Tejal Shah, Tyza Stewart, Guanyu Xu, Paul Yore

Image: Paul Yore Mother Tongue (detail) 2017, mixed media textile, beads, buttons, sequins, acrylic, enamel, watercolour and found objects, 348 x 212 cm. Photo: Devon Ackermann. Image courtesy and © the artist.

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EXHIBITION DATES: Saturday 14 March — Monday 8 June 2020

The 22nd Biennale of Sydney is artist- and First Nations-led, presenting an expansive exhibition of contemporary art that connects local communities and global networks.

Under the artistic direction of Brook Andrew, the exhibition will include artworks across six sites: National Art School, Art Gallery of NSW, Artspace, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Cockatoo Island and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

‘The urgent states of our contemporary lives are laden with unresolved past anxieties and hidden layers of the supernatural,’ said Brook Andrew. ‘NIRIN 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 (edge) gathers life forces of integrity to push through often impenetrable noise.’

Exhibition Update 

The National Art School is delighted that NIRIN, the 22nd Biennale of Sydney’s extraordinary exhibition, is reopening to the public on June 1, with extended dates running until September/October 2020.

However following decisions made by the National Cabinet, as communicated by the NSW Government, NAS is unable to reopen our public gallery spaces due to duty of care to our students and staff as a tertiary education institution.

As COVID 19 restrictions begin to lift in NSW, NAS students and staff have been returning to campus in line with specified government guidelines, including social distancing and public hygiene measures. Regrettably this means the general public cannot be allowed access to the site, including NAS’s galleries containing installations by NIRIN artists.

As a NIRIN exhibition partner, NAS features the works of Tony Albert (Australia); Randy Lee Cutler (Canada); Noreen Hudson, Vanessa Inkamala and Ivy Pareroultja from Iltja Ntjarra (Many Hands) Art Centre (Australia); Hannah Catherine Jones (UK); Teresa Margolles (Mexico); Andrew Rewald (Australia); and Lucienne Rickard/Adrift Lab (Australia).

For the NIRIN WIR public program, NAS was scheduled to host work from Namila Benson (Australia); FAFSWAG (New Zealand); Brian Fuata (Australia); and MzRizk (Australia).

NIRIN artworks currently located at NAS will be transferred to an alternative venue where they will be accessible to the public, with location and dates announced shortly. Since the NIRIN exhibition spaces closed in March, NAS has continued to present our Biennale artists and their work to the public via the online interview series Artist Insider, contributing to NIRIN’s continued strong virtual presence. Artist Insider is part of NAS Connect, the school’s online program keeping in touch with our extensive creative community to offer inspiration and support.

NAS will continue to feature new NIRIN interviews alongside our online exhibitions, highlights from our art collection, and Studio Sessions posts showing how students have continued their art practice in isolation – see https://nas.edu.au/nas-connect for more.

NAS encourages the public to visit NIRIN as it reopens around Sydney, to experience this unmissable and revolutionary 22nd Biennale of Sydney, showing more than 700 artworks by 101 artists and collectives from around the world. We congratulate NIRIN Artistic Director Brook Andrew and the Biennale team for their tireless efforts to create and sustain this landmark artist- and First Nations-led exhibition through such challenging times.

Where to see NIRIN

· Art Gallery of New South Wales 1 June – 27 September 2020 · Artspace 1 June – 27 September 2020
· Campbelltown Arts Centre 1 June – 11 October 2020
· Cockatoo Island 16 June – 6 September 2020
· Museum of Contemporary Art Australia 16 June – 6 September 2020

NAS Artist Insider interviews

Tony Albert talks about creating his first work in glass, inspired by the original stained glasswindows in the National Art School’s historic Chapel

Randy Lee Cutler and Andrew Rewald talk about collaborating from opposite sides of the world and their shared interest in the secret life of minerals

Lucienne Rickard talks about bringing her yearlong drawing performance project Extinction Studies to Sydney for the Biennale

Image: Teresa MargollesUntitled, 2020, mixed-media installation. Installation view (2020) for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, National Art School. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich. Photograph: Zan Wimberley

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