Whisper in My Mask

TarraWarra Museum of Art

Tony Garifalakis, Untitled from the “Bloodline” series, 2014. Enamel on C-type print, 60 x 40 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

August 14, 2014

TarraWarra Biennial 2014: Whisper in My Mask
August 16–November 16, 2014

TarraWarra Museum of Art
311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road
Healesville, Victoria


Curated by guest curators Natalie King and Djon Mundine, this Biennial is the fourth iteration of a signature event on Australia’s national exhibition calendar.

Inaugurated in 2006 to identify new developments in contemporary art practice, the TarraWarra Biennial invites artists to present new work at the unique TarraWarra Museum of Art, located in the spectacular Yarra Valley one hour from Melbourne. The Biennial highlights pivotal aspects of Australian practice under an experimental curatorial platform. 

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 August 16, timed to coincide with official partner the Melbourne Art Fair 2014, the Museum will present the premiere of the play Weavings and Whispers: Miwi wisdom, written especially for the Biennial by Prof. Diane Bell, and performed by members of the Ngarrindjeri Weavers, along with a range of talks by the exhibition artists. 

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)

For further information and images:
Eliza Ordinans, TarraWarra Museum of Art Media and Communications,
T +61 3 59573100 / eliza [​at​] twma.com.au

TarraWarra Biennial 2014: Whisper in My Mask
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