The TarraWarra Biennial highlights pivotal aspects of Australian practice under an experimental curatorial platform.

TarraWarra Biennial 2014

Whisper in My Mask

August 16 – November 16, 2014
TarraWarra Museum of Art

Curators: Natalie King and Djon Mundine

Inaugurated in 2006 to identify new developments in contemporary art practice, the TarraWarra Biennial invites artists to present new work at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, located in the Yarra Valley one hour from Melbourne.

Featuring recent and specially commissioned works by more than 20 of Australia’s most vital contemporary Aboriginal and non-Indigenous artists, and taking a line from the evocative song “Art Groupie” (1981) by singer Grace Jones, the title of this year’s Biennial, Whisper in my Mask, signals a wide-ranging exploration of masking and disguise. In a selection of works that elicit an emotional and sensory response, the Biennial will explore the mask’s multifarious forms and functions and the ways in which it both reveals and conceals personas: to protect, beautify, frighten or pacify, universalise or eternalise, and intensify and amplify expression.

The participating artists include boat-people* (NSW), Daniel Boyd (NSW), Søren Dahlgaard (VIC), Destiny Deacon & Virginia Fraser (VIC), Karla Dickens (NSW), Fiona Foley (QLD), Tony Garifalakis (VIC), Sandra Hill (WA), Gabriella Mangano and Silvana Mangano (VIC), Romaine Moreton (VIC), Nasim Nasr (SA), Polixeni Papapetrou (VIC), Elizabeth Pedler (WA), Sangeeta Sandrasegar (VIC), The Telepathy Project (Veronica Kent and Sean Peoples) (VIC) and The Tjanpi Desert Weavers Project with Fiona Hall (SA/NT/WA).

TarraWarra Museum of Art Director Victoria Lynn, says, “This year’s Biennial features both timely political gestures about the masking of history as well as a more mysterious interest in hidden personas, ghosts and telepathy. Featuring performances, talks and events, the exhibition also embraces a broad sense of community that encompasses not only the local Yarra Valley but also the significant Indigenous communities across Australia.”

Highlights include the specially commissioned work of Tjanpi Desert Weavers with the Australian Venice Biennale representative for 2015, Fiona Hall; the Telepathy Project, which involves a town meeting, a libretto for TarraWarra’s lake, a project about dreams, and a library; and 3,500 litres of beanbag beans for the participatory installation by emerging West Australian artist Elizabeth Pedler.

On October 19 the Museum will hold a special day of events curated for Melbourne Festival, Whisper in My Mask: A day in the valley, featuring Søren Dahlgaard; The Telepathy Project libretto Reading Solaris to the Great Moorool; artists of the TarraWarra Biennial 2014 in conversation with curator Natalie King; poetry readings by Romaine Moreton and A Special Conversation: Henry Reynolds, Djon Mundine & Fiona Foley.

*boat-people: (Safdar Ahmed, Zehra Ahmed, Stephanie Carrick, Dave Gravina, Katie Hepworth, Jiann Hughes, Deborah Kelly, Enda Murray, Pip Shea, Sumugan Sivanesan, Jamil Yamani)

Image: Sandra Hill, Home-maker #7 – Cake Making 2012, oil on linen, 76 x 91 cm, Murdoch University Art Collection, Courtesy of the artist and Mossenson Galleries, Perth

Read more about TarraWarra Biennial