Bansktown Biennale

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 Machiko Motoi's simple clay vases are traced with detailed linework
Photograph: Supplied Artist Machiko Motoi's clay artworks will be shown at Bankstown Biennale

Time Out says

Biennale of Sydney is wrapping up, but Bankstown has you covered for inspiring art sourced locally

After months of turbulence, Sydney’s arts scene is gradually re-emerging. But it won’t necessarily look the same as it did before. And a big part of the new normal is loving local. While the city-wide Biennale of Sydney may be wrapping up, Bankstown Arts Centre has announced the smaller but perfectly formed inaugural Bankstown Biennale.

Opening on Saturday, October 10 and running until November 21, it’s a celebration of the creative output of 20 Sydney-based artists, several of them from the immediate vicinity. It's co-curated by Bankstown Arts Centre director Vandana Ram and curator and artist Heidi Axelsen, and their overarching theme is ‘symbiosis’. 

Each of the artists has been tasked with creating works that respond to the hullabaloo of 2020, from a traumatic summer of bushfires through to lockdown and the knock-on effect on the creative community when arts venues across the land were forced to shut up shop back in March. Bankstown Biennale asks them for creative solutions.

Multimedia artist Machiko Motoi literally draws on the building blocks of Bansktown. Using clay sourced locally, she has created raw sculptural pieces traced with beautiful line work. Bonita Ely will also contribute a new work that’s hyper-local, examining the tragic pollution of the Cooks River that winds its way through the suburb.  

Textile designer Alia Parker’s work ‘See you in the Symbiocene’ explores a more sustainable way to embrace fashion, including the possibilities presented by fungi. Composer, musician and sound artist Boyd teams up with regular collaborator Alison Clouston, a visual artist, on an immersive installation. Redfern-based Nicole Monks, a multi-disciplinary artist of Yamatji Wajarri, Dutch and English heritage, is a gifted storyteller who embraces Aboriginal philosophies of sustainability, innovation and collaboration.

Three writers will lend their wise words to the exhibition: Filipino-Australian creative non-fiction writer Martyn Reyes; Nadia Hirst, who challenges colonial narratives; and writer, photographer and poet Christine Lai. Curator Alessandro Berini and Macquarie University lecturer and audio installation artist Selina Springett – working under their collaborative name of  Atelier 23 – will give Incubate Artists’ Studios a green glow up by festooning the joint with seedlings, encouraging folks to slow down. And goodness knows after the mess we continue to move through, taking a deep breath is exactly what we need right now, all while celebrating local heroes who make life look a little brighter.

Want to apprecaite art without leaving home? Check out Sydney Contemporary. 

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