22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN

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://natartschool.wpengine.com/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 (closing date TBC)

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

Coming soon: Namila Benson, Olivia Sophia (on Teresa Margolles), Hannah Catherine Jones, Dan Rizk (MzRizk), Brian Fuata.


22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN

The National Art School joins the 22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN, under the artistic direction of acclaimed indigenous Australian artist Brook Andrew. NIRIN means edge in the language of the Wiradjuri people of western NSW, Brook’s mother’s nation.


Tony Albert (Australia)
Randy Lee Cutler (Canada)
Hannah Catherine Jones (UK)
Teresa Margolles (Mexico)
Iltja Ntjarra / Namatjira School of Art (Australia)
Andrew Rewald (Australia)
Lucienne Rickard / Adrift Lab (Australia)

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

Brook Andrew, one of Australia’s most distinguished artists, is artistic director of NIRIN. Meaning ‘edge’, nirin is a word of Brook’s mother’s Nation, the Wiradjuri people of western New South Wales.

NIRIN brings together artists, makers, scientists, academics and thinkers from around the world. They will deliver artworks, insights, ideas and projects that challenge dominant narratives and share Indigenous knowledge.

NIRIN comprises work by over 100 artists across six venues — the National Art School, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Cockatoo Island and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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