The NIRIN Effect

10 December 2021, 3:00:00 am

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Session Convenors

Darren Jorgensen, University of Western Australia

Session Moderators

Darren Jorgensen, University of Western Australia

Session Speakers

Jessyca Hutchens, University of Oxford
Pedro Wonaeamirri, Jilamara Arts and Crafts
The Tennant Creek Brio, artist

NIRIN, the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, has been described as a ‘beacon for social change’ that arrived at difficult time in recent Australian and global history. As megafires and a pandemic appeared amidst a political paralysis over global warming, NIRIN fostered relationships between indigenous artists and collectives from around the world. This session features speakers who exhibited work in NIRIN and organised it, to look back upon what significance it offers a country attempting to grapple with crises of global proportions. The panel's participants are from the Tiwi Islands, Warumungu country country and Perth, and will offer insights into the impact of NIRIN both on the artistic practices of remote Australian artists, and upon the future of Biennale’s in a world beset by catastophe.

PAPER #1
Standing with Edges: Positions from NIRIN, the 22nd Biennale of Sydney

PRESENTER
Jessyca Hutchens, University of Oxford

Jessyca Hutchens was the Curatorial Assistant to the Artistic Director for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney titled NIRIN in 2020, and will present on its premises of being an Indigenous led and artist led Biennale which gathered together positions around the concept of ‘edge.’

PAPER #2
Pedro Wonaeamirri at NIRIN

PRESENTER
Pedro Wonaeamirri, Jilamara Arts and Crafts

In this paper the artist Pedro Wonaeamirri will speak about his carving and painting practice, and about his work at NIRIN and the impact this has had upon his art practice.

PAPER #3
The Tennant Creek Brio at NIRIN

PRESENTER
The Tennant Creek Brio, artist

In Tennant Creek Aboriginal men have been stereotyped into figures of notoriety and disrepute – made to live on the edge of two worlds – a place they have learned not only to inhabit but to ride. Exhibiting at NIRIN, they embodied the theme of 'edge', as the biennale embodied them, emboldening them to speak their truth.

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Biographies

Darren Jorgensen, University of Western Australia

Darren Jorgensen works at the University of Western Australia lecturing in art history. He publishes on Australian art, especially art from the Central and Western Deserts of Australia. He is interested in climbing and surfing, but is too unfit to really do these performance sports very well.


Jessyca Hutchens, University of Oxford

Jessyca Hutchens is a Palyku woman living and working in Boorloo (Perth), Western Australia. She is a curator and art historian currently completing a DPhil in art history at the University of Oxford on the topic of contemporary artist residencies. In 2019–2020, Jessyca was the Curatorial Assistant to the Artistic Director at the Biennale of Sydney. Jessyca was previously a lecturer in Global Art History at the University of Birmingham. She has written for Third Text, Artlink, AQNB, and contributed chapters to the books NIRIN NGAAY and Indigenous Archives. She is a founding editor of OAR Platform.


Pedro Wonaeamirri, Jilamara Arts and Crafts

Pedro grew up in Pirlangimpi (Pularumpi) on Mellville Island. As a teenager he moved with his family to Milikapiti. He was educated in Darwin, and fortuitously in 1989, on his return to Milikapiti, the fledgling arts centre Jilamara Arts and Crafts was incorporated. Pedro’s country Andranganoo is on the eastern side of Melville Island “the land or country where I come from is from my father’s father, my grandfather”. Pedro has been exhibiting since 1989, and his work is in many collections.


The Tennant Creek Brio, artist

The Tennant Creek Brio sprang out of a men’s art therapy group in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory in 2016. Three years later, they are regularly exhibiting in cities such as Alice Springs and Melbourne, as well as at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney. The artist collective is made up of Joseph Jungarayi Williams, Rupert Betheras, Fabian Brown Japaljarri, Marcus Camphoo Kemarre, Jimmy Frank Jnr Jupurrula, Lindsay Nelson Jakamarra and Clifford Thompson Japaljarri.