Explore the Biennale of Sydney at the National Art School

For the 2022 Biennale, the National Art School at Darlinghurst has partnered with Artspace as the contemporary art institution awaits renovations to its gallery and Woolloomooloo house. Multiple spaces within the sandstone walls of NAS, the heritage site of the former Darlinghurst Gaol, are activated with 11 specially designed works of art that explore ideas around still, still waters, as well as submerged stories and re-emerging.

english artist Joey Holder transforms the space of the chapel with Abyssal Seeker, taking the audience on an aquatic journey to a yet undiscovered deep saltwater lake. Strange forms of sea life of all shapes and sizes twist and turn in this immersive video artwork.

Colombian artist Caroline Caycedo features a large-scale mural of satellite photographs depicting the progressive devastation of the Magdalena River caused by the El Quimbo Dam, as well as sculptures, textiles and drawings that speak to the political agency of the waterways.

The Myall Creek Gathering Cloak is a collaborative work by the local First Nations community, including elders, descendants of survivors of the Myall Creek Massacre, and members of the Friends of Myall Creek Memorial. The Cloak shows the songs of the Gomeroi people of Boggabilla in Glen Innes, and is a contemporary revitalization of the traditional opossum skin cloak for healing, cultural renewal and recovery.

palestinian artist Jumana Emil Abboud explores Palestinian folklore, the ritual of storytelling and their connection to the land and in particular to the water with an ongoing series of drawings and paintings in mixed media, begun in 2009.

Perth Artist Erin Coats presents a series of interconnected multimedia works by her Swan River Dolphin Bone series, working between drawing, sculpture and film. Informed by marine biology, historical research, and her own snorkeling experiences in the water there, her work speaks to the ongoing impact of colonial occupation on this estuarine ecosystem and the dolphins that inhabit it.

The Biennale of Sydney is presented at the National Art School in partnership with Artspace daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Wednesdays. The exhibition is free to visit. To avoid queues, you can register here.

Kayleen C. Rice