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Biennale of Sydney announces two new directors


The Biennale of Sydney, the largest exhibition of contemporary art in Australia, has announced two new members have joined its board of directors: Johanna Featherstone and Rachel Verghis.

Chaired by Kate Mills, the board of 13 members also includes Josephine Cashman, Geoffrey Cassidy, Danielle Earp, Anne Flanagan, Paris Neilson, James Roth, Morry Schwartz AM, Naseema Sparks AM Faicd, Tea Uglow and Chris Wirasinha.

Mills says: “We are delighted to welcome Johanna Featherstone and Rachel Verghis to the board of directors. Their unique knowledge and expertise in their respective fields will be invaluable for the exhibition, and the recently announced public and learning programs. We look forward to working with them as we approach the 22nd Biennale of Sydney.”

Art patron, collector and entrepreneur Verghis is the founder of art technology companies, goo.ey and VerghisArt. She began her career as a banker, working in the industry for over 15 years. She founded VerghisArt in 2002, a platform focusing on artists from the Asia-Pacific region, which has included work by British-Australian sculptor Caroline Rothwell and Australian-Italian artist Raphaela Rosella. Verghis is also a member of the Tate’s Asia-Pacific Acquisitions Committee, the Australian Venice Biennale International Council and the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas, and is a patron of the Serpentine Gallery in London.

Johanna Featherstone founded Red Room Poetry, Australia’s leading organisation for the commissioning and creation of new poetry. As the organisation’s artistic director, she established a national poetry education program for schools and correctional centres in New South Wales. She is an honorary associate of the University of Sydney’s School of Arts and Media. She has served as a judge for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, JB Fairfax Award for Rural and Regional Journalism and the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship. Her poetry features in journals and anthologies such as Best Australian Poems (Black Inc), and her chapbook Felt was released in 2010 by Vagabond Press, with a second collection expected in 2020. Featherstone is also director of the Oranges & Sardines Foundation that both creates and supports radical work in the arts and environmental sectors.

The Biennale of Sydney recently announced the full list of artists, creatives and collectives participating in the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), titled NIRIN. Under the artistic direction of Brook Andrew, the exhibition will present work from 98 artists, creatives and collectives across six sites in Sydney: Art Gallery of NSW, Artspace, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Cockatoo Island, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the National Art School.

Artist- and First Nations-led, the Biennale of Sydney will present an expansive exhibition of contemporary art and public programming that connects local communities and global networks, presented free to the public from 14 March to 8 June 2020.


Image: (L-R) Johanna Featherstone, Rachel Verghis


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