Workshop

Building Blocks is an eight-part experimental workshop series that supports the free-flow of embodied knowledge, collective thinking, deep listening and experiential learning. Facilitated by eight rīvus participants, it celebrates learning through doing in an open and welcoming environment.

Extending upon pre-Biennale series Water Lessons, Building Blocks invites you to reflect upon your water relations and stories, whilst gaining deep insight into different rīvus projects and the voices of their makers. Building Blocks highlights a selection of 23rd Biennale of Sydney projects that are grounded in knowledge sharing and reciprocal learning through arts, cultural, environmental and activist practices.

At the end of each Building Block, social enterprise and asylum seeker and refugee kitchen, Parliament on King, will offer an informal eating experience. During the meal, you will be encouraged to share stories and memories grounded in water and sustainable practices.

Dates & Times

Building Block: One | Paula de Solminihac
Saturday, 12 March 2022
10 am–1 pm

Building Block: Two | Yuko Mohri
Sunday, 13 March 2022
10 am–1 pm

Building Block: Three | Diana Scherer
Sunday, 13 March 2022
2–5 pm

Building Block: Four | Clare Milledge
Sunday, 10 April 2022
10 am–1 pm

Building Block: Five | A4C
Sunday, 8 May 2022
10 am–1 pm

Building Block: Six | Jessie French
Saturday, 11 June 2022
10 am–1 pm

Building Block: Seven | Leanne Tobin
Sunday, 12 June 2022
10 am–1 pm

Building Block: Eight | Cave Urban
Monday, 13 June 2022
10 am–1 pm

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Venue
The Waterhouse, The Cutaway at Barangaroo

Cost
$32 +booking fees

Catering included with ticket
Vegan (DF, GF, V) or Vegetarian

Access
The Biennale of Sydney strives to make all events accessible. You can advise us of your access requirements when booking online, by email or calling our box office on 02 8484 8702.

Box Office Opening Hours
Monday – Friday
9 am–4 pm
02 8484 8702
Email – art@biennaleofsydney.com.au

Building Block: One | Paula de Solminihac

Saturday, 12 March 2022
10 am–1 pm

Building Block: One with Paula de Solminihac invites you to explore the
core axes of the Nube Method – a practice-based hands-on approach – through clay.

In Building Block: One titled ‘a simple form’ you will explore cooperative methodologies where you will be working collaboratively and to reflect on the importance of the creative processes. Using clay as the foundation you will make worms through repetitive and minimal clay rolling techniques that connects your mind and hands.

de Solminihac is an artist and executive director of Nube Lab, an NGO dedicated to enhancing creativity in public schools through a method that transfers the artist’s skills to educational work. Since 2012, Nube Lab has worked with more than 4,000 students, achieving results in collaborative work, creative thinking and autonomy; it has also democratised access to art in vulnerable populations.

Building Blocks will land in a communal eating experience gifted by social enterpise and asylum seeker kitchen Parliament on King. Food will be celebrated as a call for sharing, exchange and togetherness.

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Building Block: Two | Yuko Mohri

Sunday, 13 March 2022
10 am–1 pm

Coincidences (what happens by chance?)
Errors (what should not have happened?)
Portents (what might happen?)
Silence (what did not happen?)

How do objects enable us to perceive invisible energies? To play with forces such as magnetism, gravity, wind, and light and create new ecosystems and relationships through found materials.

Yuko Mohri creates place-based encounters – salvaging the stories of urban environments and its relationship with the natural world with material and immaterial tools. Each assemblage is an experiment and attempt to play with chance, an attempt to see what is possible within the creation of new ecosystems.

Join Mohri for Building Blocks: Two where she askes you participate in the unknown, to play with expectation and to welcome coincidence, error, portents and silence through a process-based workshop.

Mohri’s process spans between the individual and the collective, at times – the kinetic, sound-based assemblages are created together, with the public walking through sites locating potential objects for the artwork. The learnings are quiet – but they are important. During this workshop, Mohri invites you to shift perspectives of place and space and re-see new potential in objects and the stories they hold.

Building Blocks will land in a communal eating experience gifted by social enterpise and asylum seeker kitchen Parliament on King. Food will be celebrated as a call for sharing, exchange and togetherness.

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Building Block: Three | Diana Scherer

Sunday, 13 March 2022
2–5 pm

How can the dynamic root systems of plants and grasses mirror and map our rhizomatic relations as humans with more-than-human species?
What do these relationships look like?
How can we feel quietly into the depths beneath of feet, to listen, learn and watch nature move and observe with curiosity and resilience?
How can we learn from and with the intelligence of plants?

Led by nature, Diana Scherer’s Building Block explores infinite landscapes and intricate webs underneath our feet that demonstrate the dynamic sensibilities of plant and grass root systems.

Diana Scherer explores the relationship between humans and the natural environment by examining the boundaries between plant culture and plant nature. Her long-term project ‘Exercises in Rootsystem Domestication’, sees root systems being transformed into artificial textiles through intricate weaving techniques with botanical materials, in a sense she hacks the natural growth path and generates a different mapping of the world below.

Building Block: Three will be a series of exercises, opportunities to break our anthropocentric view of our relationship with the more-than-human and open-up a new awareness of our spatial and environmental relationships with our planet.

Building Blocks will land in a communal eating experience gifted by social enterprise and asylum seeker kitchen Parliament on King. Food will be celebrated as a call for sharing, exchange and togetherness.

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Building Block: Four | Clare Milledge

Sunday, 10 April 2022
10 am–1 pm

What is collected and what is left behind?
How do we map place and space, differently?
What do collective methodologies offer when learning from and with the environment?

Working with fieldwork as her primary methodology, Australian artist Clare Milledge collects, re-organises, transforms and re-presents recordings, information and material gathered on ecological surveys and site visits.

In this Building Block session, join Clare in the exchange of plant stories and knowledge through walking. Explore the many ways of gathering information – poetic, historical, relational, anecdotal, scientific – and of sharing these stories of place back to the group.

Building Blocks will land in a communal eating experience gifted by social enterprise and asylum seeker kitchen Parliament on King. Food will be celebrated as a call for sharing, exchange and togetherness.

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Building Block: Five | A4C

Sunday, 8 May 2022
10 am–1 pm

What does collective practice look like today?
How can we gift agency with trust and openness?
How can we together, with each other, from each other?

Arts for the Commons (A4C) have a special way of working, together and locating their project for the 23rd Biennale of Sydney in a mindful and place-conscious way. Building Block: Five offers an insight into the one-way Covid limitations that have influenced new culturally responses and alternative ways of learning, thinking and creating together.
In light of tight borders and the restricted movement of people and things, Arts for the Commons (A4C) have embraced the boundless flow of ideas and what is possible through committed conversation.

Founding Members Rosa Jijon and Francesco Martone (Ecuador/Italy) have established an Australian working group – a collective of local community leaders, researchers and activists entrusted to provide consultation and hold space for their newly commissioned project for Sydney. It is a working method grounded in trust and the acknowledgement that well all hold and expertise based on our experience of the world and our connection to the landscape.

Born from a hybrid practice across art, activism and environmentalism Arts for the Commons (A4C) generates a commons a place of open access and the sharing of resources and labour.

Building Blocks will land in a communal eating experience gifted by social enterpise and asylum seeker kitchen Parliament on King. Food will be celebrated as a call for sharing, exchange and togetherness.

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Building Block: Six | Jessie French

Saturday, 11 June 2022
10 am–1 pm

How can we speculate about the future through material?
What alternatives for plastic exist in nature?
How do you interact with objects and materials?

Housed within an ethos of consumption, sustainability and regeneration, Jessie French’s work invites others to engage with the possibilities of a post-petrochemical world. Through experimenting with other, new and less common materials, she explores the potential for closed-loop systems of (re)use and conscious consumption and interaction with objects, materials and our world.

Delve into French’s eco-sensibility through Building Blocks. Speculate on a different kind of future through algae-based bioplastics and swim within ocean ecologies as you question your watery and material relations.

Throughout the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, Jessie’s installation work will grow and expand as pieces of material are produced and added to a larger algae-based bioplastic sheet, forming a patchwork of water. Jessie invites you to participate in connecting her project, physically and materially with the site that holds it. Contribute to the evolving installation through utilising water collected from the nearby Harbour.

Building Blocks will land in a communal eating experience gifted by social enterprise and asylum seeker kitchen Parliament on King. Food will be celebrated as a call for sharing, exchange and togetherness.

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Building Block: Seven | Leanne Tobin

Sunday, 12 June 2022
10 am–1 pm

Leanne Tobin (Irish/Dharug) uses her art to tell stories of local experiences, hidden histories and collaborative journeys towards discovery of self, interspecies relations and connection to Country. The process is of equal value to Tobin and her community as the outcome. If not an artist Tobin imagines she would have been a Greenie, advocating for political change through an activist practice that encourages an acknowledgement of our deep relationship with the land and all the communities of species it holds and supports.

Through her collaborative art making practice with community groups, young people and local Elders, Tobin creates a safe space to gather, listen, learn, heal and emerge anew – this is the space that will be created in Tobin’s Building Block. It is a gift of time, an offering to rethink the relationship with self, community, and place.

Building Blocks will land in a communal eating experience gifted by social enterprise and asylum seeker kitchen Parliament on King. Food will be celebrated as a call for sharing, exchange and togetherness.

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Building Block: Eight | Cave Urban

Monday, 13 June 2022
10 am–1 pm

With an emphasis on community engagement, collaboration and ecological design, over the years Cave Urban has nourished a collective of artists, architects, designers and volunteers through providing opportunities to make, build and question, together.

Enamoured by the strength, resilience and versatility of bamboo as the foundational material from which all is born from – Cave Urban make visible the design and making process as a means of open-source research and development.

In the eighth Building Block, Cave Urban will establish a physical public connection with their new commission as part of the exhibition.

Building Blocks will land in a communal eating experience gifted by social enterprise and asylum seeker kitchen Parliament on King. Food will be celebrated as a call for sharing, exchange and togetherness.

Buy Tickets

Image Credit: Courtesy of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney 2022, from left, Juan Pablo Pinto, Sophie Lanigan, Mercurio Alvarado and Jed Long from Cave Urban, The Cutaway at Barangaroo, 2021. Photo: Daniel Boud