We are extremely proud that Brook Andrew has been appointed artistic director of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney. An alumnus of UNSW Art & Design, Andrew has made remarkable contributions to contemporary art, locally and globally, created memorable works that prompt important conversations. Andrew is of the Wiradjuri Nation and has Celtic ancestry. His appointment is the first time in 45 years that the sprawling multi-venue Biennale festival will be directed by an Indigenous artist.
Andrew has a solid history of contributions to the Biennale of Sydney. The 21st Biennale - which just finished on 11 June - featured Andrew’s work What’s Left Behind. For the 2010 Biennale, Andrew presented his memorable work, the inflatable Jumping Castle War Memorial, which he explained as a memorial to those affected by genocide or oppression throughout the world who have never had a war memorial.
Last year, Andrew was the subject of a large scale solo retrospective at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, entitled The Right to Offend is Sacred. In 2017 he was also awarded the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship and appointed the photography residencies laureate at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris. Andrew is currently finishing up a residency in Berlin at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien
In a statement after the announcement and in several subsequent interviews, Brook Andrew said he is interested in presenting a Biennale in 2020 that spotlights marginalised cultures, alternative narratives and artists on the edge – those who have traditionally been left out of the dominant cultural narrative. When asked by ABC News if he felt this appointment was significant, Andrew replied "hell yeah".
Brook Andrew was featured in a 5-minute segment on the ABC iview series, Art In Mind. Brook Andrew holds an Master of Fine Arts from UNSW Art & Design.