Until the 26th of September 2020 you can conduct your own reading at the biennale installation at Carriageworks. Onsite there is an installation of unbound booklets from the production of NIRIN NGAAY – you can take a selection and do your own reading. Go visit!

Reading NIRIN: Andrew Rewald

In this video, Andrew Rewald reads 'On the Movement of Plants' from NIRIN NGAAY. Watch here

Reading NIRIN: Karla Dickens

Karla Dickens reads her contribution, 'Ready, Willing and Able'. Watch here

Reading NIRIN: Gladys Milroy

In this video, Gladys Milroy reads her story, 'The Black Feather'. Watch here

Reading NIRIN: Jessyca Hutchens

In this video, Jessyca Hutchens introduces us to the book. Watch here

Printed matter & NIRIN publications

Stuart Geddes and Trent Walter speak with Brook Andrew about their own artistic processes in printed matter and how they came to collaborate and produce two publications for NIRIN. The two publications, the exhibition catalogue NIRIN (edge) and the 'reader' NIRIN NGAAY (see the edge) were created in collaboration with (editors) Jessyca Hutchens (Assistant Curator to the Artistic Director) and Brook Andrew. Watch here

An artist’s book by Stuart Geddes and Trent Walter.
Edited by Jessyca Hutchens, Brook Andrew, Stuart Geddes and Trent Walter.
Commissioned for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney.

The Biennale of Sydney team and authors of this publication acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation; the Boorooberongal people of the Dharug Nation; the Bidiagal, Dharawal and Gamaygal people, on whose ancestral lands and waters NIRIN gathers.

NIRIN is a safe place for people to honour mutual respect and the diversity of expression and thoughts that empower us all.

NIRIN NGAAY is a compilation, a collection, a volume, an Artist Book, a Reader, an artwork, a sprawling, excessive heterogenous space of connections. Published as part of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), titled NIRIN, A Wiradjuri word meaning ‘edge’, this book is a space where ideas, themes, research, and experiments arising out of NIRIN find places on pages. Traversing many disciplines and forms, encompassing new and previously published works, complete works as well as excerpts and fragments and responses, each piece may ask for new modes of reading and seeing. Instead of disorienting, we see many lines darting and weaving across these works, beautiful moments of syncing and overlap, affective and abstract resonances, moments of density, as well as pauses to breathe deeply. Read and see and touch at random or with resolve – we hope that you will appreciate the way these works unfold and twist together, creating movements of meaning between them. ‘NGAAY’ is a Wiradjuri word meaning ‘see.’ To really see ‘edges’, might also be to sense and feel and trace them, they come into view with clarity, hover in the periphery, or drift away like memories.

Buy the book

Copies of NIRIN NGAAY can be purchased at the
Biennale of Sydney Shop

Book credits

First published in 2020 by the Biennale of Sydney Ltd.

Published with generous support from Aesop and the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

This publication is copyright and all rights are reserved. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced or
communicated to the public by any process without prior written permission of the copyright holder.

© Biennale of Sydney Ltd
All texts and artworks © the author or artist.

Published for the exhibition the 22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN, 14 March – 8
June 2020.

ISBN: 978-0-9578023-9-1

Biennale of Sydney
Chief Executive Officer: Barbara Moore
Artistic Director: Brook Andrew
Editors: Jessyca Hutchens, Brook Andrew, Stuart Geddes and Trent Walter
Publications team: Sebastian Henry-Jones, Liz Malcolm and Jodie Polutele

Designed, typeset and printed by Stuart Geddes and Trent Walter on a Heidelberg GTO 52. Some sections printed by Printgraphics and Newsprinters.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Biennale of Sydney.

Biennale of Sydney Ltd
Level 4
10 Hickson Road
The Rocks NSW 2000

Film credits

Director & Producer
Amy Browne

Amy Browne
Jason Heller

Jaime Snyder

Sound by
Jaime Snyder
Ben Coe

Nirin Ngaay


United Kingdom
Isle of Man
Hong Kong
New Zealand
Sri Lanka
Republic of Mauritius
South Africa
Trinidad & Tobago
East Timor
The Falkland Islands Guyana

Samoa on 7 September 2009 became first country for three decades to change the side on which it drives.

Stop at the kerb
Look to the right
Look to the left
Look to the right again
Then if the road is clear of traffic walk straight across the road
Walk straight across the road

Straight Across
ISALINE. (Notations on this proposition)

    THE ‘S’ AND




  1. This may or may not be true
    This may or may not be a girl’s name
    This may or may not be a particular way to tell a story
    This may or may not be a judicial sentence
    This may or may not be a typo
    This may or may not be an aesthetics choice – a dumb fashion
    This may or may not be an end.


Its common signification is for me, only slight. I grew up not knowing much.


I was born in New Zealand, moved to Australia when I was 6, have been ever since. I am now 35.


Should I have responded in such a way for him to think that his (re) search, (google) search would have felt like he wanted


From me, validating then


Narratives, that for him are not allowed to be concrete poems infused with narrative notations of exposition;


Has to make sense; be sensible; talk about class and struggle; talk about loneliness and struggle; yet Len Lye (whose work I admire and respect) can bless his experimental film work with the abstract poetics of Samoan artistic cultural expressions


Is a way in, and a way out, a go away


Is a performance of his intimacy that I should’ve acknowledged and been grateful; the way he went in, the way he went out, and now the way he goes away; leaving me here alone like a dumb heterosexual girl. Not dumb as in the derogatory word of being daft; lacking wit and smarts; but actually dumb as in unable to speak because of a congenital deafness. Now, as this dumb heterosexual girl I will continue to call out, unable to hear his silent responses till this job is done. This she learnt from her father, his –now hers, working class ethics to finish a job to completion.

I remember thinking to remember.
I remember thinking to forget.

I remember a friend standing in Stephansplatz in Vienna, saying my name is Stephen this is my place.

I remember a text he wrote ten years prior to that about Roland Barthes’ S/Z, where he equated the SZ of the title with himself, his initials, signifying him.

I remember thinking is this Narcissism?

I remember thinking is this Inevitable?

I remember two brothers from Wisconsin, both named with names starting with G.

I remember thinking of the G on the helmet of the Green Bay Packers and wondering how that felt for them when they were younger.

I remember thinking is this Belonging?

I remember thinking is this Identifying?

I remember a playground besides my workplace that was the name of the apprentice.

I remember imagining his internal excitement on seeing the sign.

I remember thinking is this Projection?

I remember thinking is this Inference?

I remember looking in the phone book when I was growing up and seeing no one else listed with my surname.

I remember that this was both comforting and discomforting.

I remember thinking is this Solitude?

I remember thinking is this Individuality?

I remember thinking to remember to remember.

I remember thinking to forget to forget.


I’m tired tonight.

I was in the sun for eight hours on a white concrete slab the same size ratio of a piece of A4 paper. I got it especially made. It cost $2200.

I call it my concrete page.

9 to 14 (2014) is an excerpt of Brian Fuata and Tony Schwensen’s contribution to Fuata’s ‘Call and response: changing title 2010 to now’, a correspondence performance where Brian invites a writer to begin a call and response for the duration of a calendar month.