The 8th TarraWarra Biennial, 1 April–16 July 2023, will feature newly commissioned works by 15 artists/artist groups focused on the interconnectedness of the peoples of Australia, Asia and the Great Ocean.
Curated by Dr Léuli Eshrāghi, the exhibition is titled ua usiusi faʻavaʻasavili, a Samoan proverb which means ‘the canoe obeys the wind’. The proverb is demonstrative of Great Ocean celestial navigation practices, following centuries of European and Asian colonial occupations.
TarraWarra Biennial 2023: ua usiusi faʻavaʻasavili, focuses attention on contemporary artists tied by ancestry or by materiality to the many lands and waters constituting Australia and its immediate neighbourhood of the soil and watery expanses termed Asia and the Great Ocean.
Revived by Satawalese Master Navigator Mau Piailug among Kānaka ʻŌiwi communities in 1970s Hawaiʻi, celestial navigation practices teach the interconnectedness of humans and islands, reefs, stars, suns, moons, currents, winds and all other beings. Bringing this lens to an exhibition context, TarraWarra Biennial 2023 imparts to audiences the wish that humility towards living beings and storied places might generate more neighbourly exchanges and resolutely joyful futures.
The artists participating in TarraWarra Biennial 2023 are:
Regina Pilawuk Wilson (Ngan’gikurunggurr, Marrithyel); Vicki West (Trawlwoolway); Sonja Carmichael (Quandamooka) and Elisa Jane Carmichael (Quandamooka); The Unbound Collective: Ali Gumillya Baker (Mirning), Faye Rosas Blanch (Mbararam, Yidinyji), Natalie Harkin (Narungga), Simone Ulalka Tur (Yankunytjatjara); Jenna Lee (Gulumerridjin, Wardaman, KarraJarri); Abdul-Rahman Abdullah; Hoda Afshar; Elyas Alavi; Torika Bolatagici (iTaukei Viti); Dr Kirsten Lyttle (Tainui Waikato); Phuong Ngo; Bhenji Ra; David Sequeira; Sancintya Mohini Simpson; and Dr Leyla Stevens.