Australian High Commission
New Delhi
India, Bhutan

Australia Fest brings internationally acclaimed Australian artists to Kochi-Muziris Biennale

 PA/27/18                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  13 December 2018

                                                  Australia Fest brings internationally acclaimed Australian artists to Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Two of Australia’s most acclaimed Aboriginal artists - Julie Gough and Brook Andrew—will take part in the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale featuring 95 artists from 36 countries.

Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu welcomed Australia’s participation as a sign of the deep commitment from both countries to strengthen cultural connections.

“A landmark event in the Indian art scene, Kochi-Muziris Biennale has become an important platform for Indian and international artists to collaborate, co-create and exchange ideas and views.  These collaborations build deeper understanding of both our cultures, among artists and visitors to the biennale alike.”

Recounting her experience at the event in 2016, Ms Sidhu added, “Australia has maintained a strong presence at the biennale since its inception. We are excited to partner with them this year as part of Australia Fest, and bring two of our best artists to India.”

Renowned contemporary Indian artist Anita Dube has curated this year’s edition around the theme ‘Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life’.

Julie Gough will present Distance is a state of mind—a new site specific room installation at Pepper House created in response to her stay in Kochi. The artwork was inspired by plants and birds and use of natural materials she has seen since arriving in India in late November that also reminded her of the history and culture of Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

Brook Andrew’s Seeing I-IV and Inconsequential I-VI consists of two large scale artworks in coalescence with each other. Seeing I-IV are giant inflatable orbs which are decorated with the patterns drawn from the traditional shields and trees of his Wiradjuri culture with texts like  'I SEE YOU' in English, Malayalam and Wiradjuri, reflecting the actions of seeing each other’s cultural roots and historical legacies and links between India and Australia. Inconsequential I-VI represents archival etchings and photographs from personal and museum archives that further links the two countries and symbolising the life of lands prior and after colonial constructions. His work is on view at TKM Warehouse.

Additionally, Australian-Indian music ensemble The Three Seas will commence its six-city India tour with a performance at the Biennale Pavilion, Cabral Yard on 15 December.

Australia’s participation at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts. The biennale runs from 12 December 2018 to 29 March 2019.

About the artists 

Julie Gough’s research and art practice involves uncovering and re-presenting subsumed and often conflicting histories, often referring to her own and her family’s experiences as Tasmanian Aboriginal people. Her current work in installation, sound, and video provides the means to explore ephemerality, absence and recurrence, and draws viewers to a closer understanding of people’s continuing roles in, and proximity to, unresolved National stories.

Brook Andrew is an interdisciplinary artist who examines dominant narratives, often relating to colonialism and modernist histories. Through museum and archival interventions and curatorial projects, he aims to make forgotten stories visible and offer alternative choices for interpreting history in the world today. Apart from drawing inspiration from vernacular objects and the archive he travels internationally to work with communities and various private and public museum collections to question linear forms of dominant histories. 

About the Three Seas

An inter-cultural music ensemble, The Three Seas combines traditional Baul music, originally performed by the mystics from West Bengal and Bangladesh, with contemporary Australian jazz, rock and western production aesthetics. A ten-year labour of love for their Artistic Director and founder Matt Keegan, The Three Seas was established in 2009 when Matt was introduced to the traditional music and instruments of West Bengal during his visit to India.

About Australia Fest:

On 18 September 2018 Australia’s High Commissioner to India Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu, launched Australia Fest, a six month long celebration of Australian culture and creativity. Australia Fest has been made possible with the generous support of our partners in three major categories: Platinum: State Governments of Victoria and New South Wales; Gold: Deakin University; Silver: ANZ Banking Group, Ashok & Mariam Jacob, CQ University Australia, FCM Travel SolutionsMahindra, Northern Territory Government, Tata BlueScope Steel, Telstra, Tourism Australia and Woodside Energy. Australia Fest’s hotel partner is the Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), airline partner is Singapore Airlines, wine partner is Jacob’s Creek, and promotion partner is BookMyShow.

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