The 18th Biennale of Sydney


Deep in the heart of Sydney is a vibrant beat that pulses through the exhibition of Modern Art, commonly known the Biennale. This year, Cockatoo Island, among other locations, hosts the 18th Biennale of Sydney and this free event is a spectacle not to be missed. Running from the 27th of June, through to the 16th of September, this exhibition showcases art installations of an international standard, with many an installation being a stimulus for your personal thoughtplay. It includes strange and superb interactive pieces, with many of them causing your to pause, for a moment and take off the glasses you commonly wear, to view the world in a different way.

Imagine walking into an old warehouse to see an orange curtain billowing in the wind. Although you admit the gracefulness of this ephemeral movement is quite magical in itself, you become surprised to learn that this silk was hand-woven, and this fabric was indeed dyed in Fanta.  

Imagine yourself walking into a shack and seeing a tent. At first glance this tent looks as though it were made of wispy shavings of something, perhaps snow, perhaps feathers. They seem light and delicate. Upon further investigation, you find that this fragile tent is in fact layers and layers of thinly sliced paper. You move around a little further to find a small woman, almost hidden underneath a shower of small white strips of paper, and you pause, to listen to each cut of the blade as she goes through the motions. Each strip of paper is indeed a thought of hers, as she has sat there for years contributing to this installation, and indeed, she says nothing.

There are displays with water, with oyster shells and tea cups, one on the biblical Ark, as well as one with fog. Make your way up a narrow staircase, where the paint on the walls blisters and the smell is of something left and forgotten. Here you can watch a performance of wardrobes, curtains and tables talking to one another as they tell a story. You may write a story and leave it there as many of these installations are interactive.

Come to the Biennale. The main exhibition is on Cockatoo Island, which boasts magnificent views of Sydney Harbour. There is a frequent ferry to the Island and entry is of course free, which is a blessing to families on outings. Why not take your family to experience a taste of art and culture of an international standard? There’s hot chips and coffee available as a welcome upon your arrival.

The inaugural Biennale of Sydney was staged in 1973 to provide an international showcase for contemporary art. Its aim was to develop and present a program that challenged traditional thinking and encouraged new levels of enthusiasm for innovative creative expression. The 18th Biennale of Sydney marks the organisation’s 39th anniversary, so don’t miss this experience.



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