We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation; Boorooberongal people of the Dharug Nation; and the Dharawal, Bidiagal and Gamaygal people, on whose ancestral lands and waters NIRIN gathers.

NIRIN is a safe place for people to honour mutual respect and the diversity of expression and thoughts that empower us all.

The 22nd Biennale of Sydney, titled NIRIN, is an international exhibition reaching across Sydney.


‘NIRIN (meaning ‘edge’) and NIRIN WIR (meaning ‘edge of the sky’) are Wiradjuri words. First Nations languages are used throughout the Biennale to highlight the urgency of reviving and sustaining the future of language diversity.

In urgent times of shifting boundaries and conflicts between humanity, nature and spirituality, we desperately need to alter our actions to catch up with expedient change and show respect for ancient cultures. Now is a potent time to heal and feel the rush and tension of new futuristic possibilities.

NIRIN proposes that creativity is an important means of truth-telling, of directly addressing unresolved anxieties that stalk our times and ourselves. Most importantly, it is a place from which to see the world through different eyes, to embrace our many edges and imagine pride in ecologically harmonious and self-defined futures, and to explore both ancient ties and new kinships borne of sensitivity, desire and multiplicity.’

Brook Andrew
Artistic Director


NIRIN at Carriageworks reflects on extinction, death, life, change and healing. A central theme of NIRIN is that of BILA (meaning River: Environment), a focus on the complex ecologies that make up our world and the environmental crises we now face. Some projects share an urgency for ecological harmony and how humans can work together with nature to create food gardens and respond to our deeper interconnectivity to the earth, rocks, animals and other creatures with whom we share this planet.

Amongst the deep sadness of extinction is also the reality of human diaspora and movement that often uproots and creates heartache for many who need to flee their homes from war or other actions out of their control. The legacy of this and inter-generational trauma reflects both on our duty to nature but also to each other. Femicide (the murder of women) is also deeply reflected here. Among these artworks and their messages, is also hope and reflection. As we all witness together, there is a place made possible for reflection and healing, creating a different path forward.


Hannah Catherine JonesOwed to Diaspora(s), 2020. Installation progress view for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), National Art School. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous assistance from the British Council AustraliaCourtesy the artistPhotograph: Zan Wimberley. 
Randy Lee Cutler and Andrew Rewald, Mineral Garden, 2019-20. Installation view for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), National Art School. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artists; Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney; and Christine Myerscough. Photograph: Alex Robinson. 
Teresa MargollesAproximación al lugar de los hechos (Approximations to the Scenes of the Facts), 2020. Installation progress view for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), National Art School. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), Embassy of Spain and Galerie Peter KilchmannCourtesy the artist and Galerie Peter Kilchmann, ZurichPhotograph: Zan Wimberley. 

This is a free exhibition.

Open Wed-Sat, 10am-5pm

Open Wed-Sat, 10am-5pm

Carriageworks is a registered COVID-Safe business. To ensure the wellbeing of our visitors, we are following strict guidelines set by NSW State Government and Live Performance Australia. Help us keep everyone safe by reading our COVID-Safe Plan before your next visit.

Randy Lee Cutler and Andrew Rewald, Carriageworks, Art Installation, Biennale of Sydney
Hannah Catherine Jones, Art Installation, Carriageworks, Biennale of Sydney
Teresa Margolles, Carriageworks, Art Installation, Biennale of Sydney