Cover image of the review
Installation view of Tennant Creek Brio, We are the Living History, 2020, 22nd Biennale of Sydney, Cockatoo Island. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with generous support from the Australia Council for the Arts, and generous assistance from Fondation Opale. Courtesy of the artists and Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre. Photograph: Zan Wimberley

The Tennant Creek Brio

27 Jun 2020
1 Jun - 29 Sep 2020

In 2016, a men’s art therapy group was founded at Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Three years later, the group has flung itself onto the international stage at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN as the artist collective the “Tennant Creek Brio”. Initially spearheaded by Joseph Jungarayi Williams—then working at Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation—and Rupert Betheras—an artist and ex-professional AFL player from Collingwood—the collective brings together a cross-cultural formation of five northern and central desert language groups (Warumungu, Warlmunpa, Warlpiri, Kaytetye and Alyawarr) and a painter from Melbourne. Together, they celebrate a creole of artistic traditions, some inherited, others improvised. At Tennant Creek’s cultural crossroad, the Brio’s members—Fabian Brown Japaljarri, Marcus Camphoo Kemarre, Jimmy Frank Jnr Jupurrula, Lindsay Nelson Jakamarra, Clifford Thompson Japaljarri, Williams and Betheras—command bewildering aesthetic power in a strategy of healing and resistance to cultural alienation.

Sign in to read for free

Sign in for free to read the archive and get the latest review each Saturday morning. With our readers subscribing to our free weekly exhibition review, Memo Review can continue to publish quality, independent weekly art criticism.

Consider becoming a Patreon supporter or making a donation.