The first 33 artists, creatives and collaborations were announced on Tuesday 9th April at the Cell Block Theatre within the National Art School campus.

At the launch Brook Andrew, the Artistic Director, explained that NIRIN is the title of the exhibition symbolising the 2019 International Year Of Indigenous Languages. NIRIN means edge which aims to advocate for First Nation Languages to be incorporated into the mainstream. NIRIN is a word from Andrew’s country, the Wiradjuri people from Western New South Wales.

Seven themes bind together. They are DHAAGUN (Earth: Working Together), BAGARAY – BANG (Healing), YIRAWY-DHURAY (Yam-Connection: Food), GURRAY (Transformation), MURIGUWAL GIILAND (Different Stories),NGAWAAL-GUYUNGAN (Powerful Ideas :The Power Of Objects) and BILAN( River: Environment).

The exhibition will be presented free to the public from Saturday 14th March to Monday 8th June, 2020 at the Art Gallery Of New South Wales, Artspace, Campbelltown Arts centre, Cockatoo Island, Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia and the National Art School in Darlinghurst.

A number of the artists, creatives and collaboration representatives were in attendance including South African artist Lhola Amira, Samoan Persian Australian artist Leuli Eshraghi, artist and musician Nicholas Galanin from Sitka, Alaska, Kylie Kwong, Australian chef and creative, Australian First Nation photographer Barbara McGrady, Austrian artist and curator Katarina Matiasek, Australian First Nation artist S.J.Norman and USA based Haitian artist/anthropologist/activist Gina Athena Ulysse.

The  first 33 participants, chosen from around the world were announced. They were Tony Albert, Maria Thereza Alves, Lhola Amira, Sammy Baloji, Huma Bhabha, Blacktown Native Institution, Anna Boghiguian, Eric Bridgeman, Victoria Santa Cruz, Leuli Eshraghi, Jes Fan, Nicholas Galanin, Fatima Rodrigo Gonzales, Lawrence Ahu Hamdan, Arthur Jafa, Hannah Catherine Jones, Bronwyn Katz, Mayunkiki, Kylie Kwong, Barbara McGrady, Ibrahim Mahama, Teresa Margolies, Mishack Masamvu, Katarina Matiasek, Jota Mombaca, Professor Sur Zanele Muholi, The Mulka Project, S.J.Norman, Taqralik Partridge, Laura Prouvost, Lisa Reihana, Latai Taumoepeau and Gina Athena Ulysse.

The Biennale of Sydney is the third oldest Biennale in the world after Venice and Sao Paulo and the largest of its kind in Australia.

Over the years the Biennale of Sydney has commissioned and presented works of art by more than 1,800 national and international artists from more than 100 countries.

In 2018, the 21st Biennale of Sydney attracted more than 850,000 visitors, the highest attendance in its 45 year history with more than 23% of visitors coming from overseas. .

Featured image : Artistic Director of Biennale of Sydney 2020 Brook Andrew. All images of artists by Ben Apfelbaum