The TarraWarra Biennial features newly commissioned works by 15 artists and artist groups focused on the interconnectedness of the peoples of Australia, Asia and the Great Ocean.
The title of the TarraWarra Biennial 2023, ua usiusi faʻavaʻasavili, is an alagāʻupu, Sāmoan proverb, meaning ‘the canoe obeys the wind’. This saying calls attention to the contemporary revival of Great Ocean celestial navigation practices, which has been accompanied by waves of renewal of language, thought, movement and relationships. In this spirit, this exhibition affirms the principle of humility towards living beings and storied places, which in turn generates neighbourly exchanges and joyful futures.
TarraWarra Biennial 2023: ua usiusi faʻavaʻasavili gathers new commissions by artists, poets, makers, performers, archivists, scholars, weavers, painters, carvers, and filmmakers who live and work across Australia. In the works held first within these walls as well as in their wider œuvre, the commissioned artists maintain and strengthen indelible relationships and responsibilities to creation laws, ancestral estates, matrilineal practices, and material experimentation. This takes place within a wider context of transnational contestation, desperately needing sustained intersectional critique grounded in a Moana cosmopolitan imaginary that centres Indigenous sovereignties.
Exhibited artists include: Regina Pilawuk Wilson (Ngan’gikurunggurr, Marrithyel), Vicki West (trawlwoolway), Sonja Carmichael (Quandamooka) and Elisa Jane Carmichael (Quandamooka), The Unbound Collective which includes Ali Gumillya Baker (Mirning), Faye Rosas Blanch (Mbararam, Yidinyji), Natalie Harkin (Narungga) and Simone Ulalka Tur (Yankunytjatjara), Jenna Lee (Gulumerridjin, Wardaman, KarraJarri), Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Hoda Afshar, Elyas Alavi, Torika Bolatagici, Dr Kirsten Lyttle (Tainui Waikato), Phuong Ngo, Bhenji Ra, David Sequeira, Sancintya Mohini Simpson and Dr Leyla Stevens.