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Australia at the Venice Biennale


Event Status

Travel through one hundred years of Australian modern art as documentary filmmaker Kerry Gardner AM and internationally renowned artist Patricia Piccinini explore the untold stories of the world’s most important art event – the Venice Biennale.

Employing her documentary filmmaking skills and passion for art history, Chair of Australia at the Venice Biennale Kerry Gardner AM will present an illuminating history of Australia’s involvement in this seminal exhibition. Then, she’ll be joined by artist Patricia Piccinini, known for her Skywhale family and other hyperreal artworks that explore what it means to be human among the innovation and speed of modern technology and culture. Piccinini will be in conversation with Gardner and host Richard Watts to discuss the firsthand experience of having her exhibition We Are Family being chosen to represent Australia at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003.

Since the early 1900s, Australian artists have gathered in Europe to embrace new forms and expand their horizons. For over a century, a legacy of bold Australian art in Venice has been continued by some of the biggest names in the art community, including Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale and Howard Arkley. At this event, we’ll reflect on the origins of the Venice Biennale, the evolution of Australian art, and our enduring love affair with this career-defining exhibition.

Patricia Piccinini replaces Callum Morton, who is no longer able to appear at this event.

Missed the event? View the recording here.


Kerry Gardner

Kerry Gardner is chair of Australia at the Venice Biennale and a documentary film maker with a passion for art history and museum practice. She was Deputy Chair of Heide Museum of Modern Art , and a Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. She also works as a global champion for gender... Read more

Patricia Piccinini

Patricia Piccinini was born in Sierra Leone and lives in Australia. Her work encompasses sculpture, photography, video and drawing and her practice examines the increasingly nebulous boundary between the artificial and the natural as it appears in contemporary culture and ideas. Her surreal drawings... Read more

Richard Watts

Richard Watts is the National Performing Arts Editor of industry website ArtsHub; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre’s volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, a... Read more


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