How NIRIN contests history by placing art at the edge

Artistic Director Brook Andrew says, 'NIRIN is not a periphery, it is our centre'. We take a look at two venues on the edge for this year's Biennale of Sydney to see how grass roots engagement is redefining the centre.

While biennales globally have championed the use of satellite sites – raw warehouses, disused factories, churches and island outposts – the compulsion to dwell on the wow has often been to the detriment of more subtle conversations at the edge.

For this year’s Biennale of Sydney – titled NIRIN, a Wiradjuri word meaning edge – Aboriginal artist and Artistic Director Brook Andrew has created a broad reaching exhibition that amplifies the grass roots – or the edges.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina