The students have showcased their thinking and findings through a range of activities for you to interact with at the Biennale of Sydney and online. 

You can share your reflections on rīvus through a collective audio diary, record your watery experiences with others, contemplate ancient soils and river sediments through a livestreamed digital program, walk the Parramatta River  guided by the voices of students and collaborate with 23rd Biennale of Sydney participant Leeroy New through making your very own floating vessels.


Conversations In Between

Facilitated by Alexandra Malcom, Qiuhong Qi (Zoe), Julia Farleigh 

Thursday, 21 April 2022
11 am, 1 pm & 3 pm
The Cutaway at Barangaroo (Ground Level)
Drop-in, no bookings required 

Conversations in between is an interactive audio diary that facilitates story sharing dialogues between artists and audience experiences of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney. You are invited to record a conversation or reflection about your experience of rīvus at The Cutaway, Barangaroo. Through listening to artists’ stories, alongside directed questions, you are encouraged to express you relationship to waterways with the group, by vocally recording and sharing personal stories. These stories will form a collective experience of rīvus at The Cutaway in an online active archive accessible on the program’s website, Conversations In Between.

Make Your Cake And Eat It Too: experimental chain-of-ponds model making 

Facilitated by Tony Bird, Emily Ianno and Eloise Lindeback 

Sunday, 24 April 2022
3.30 pm 
Livestreamed on Zoom
No bookings required

Chain-of-ponds are a remarkable river system, with their deep ponds acting as sponges—permanent water sources in our dry country. Yet they are little known. Preserved and maintained for thousands of years by Indigenous land managers, chain-of-ponds are connected to paleo rivers 100,000 years old. They are an archive, holding memories of ancient fluvial activity. Yet there are very few remaining.  Six tiers of sponge cake, food colouring, fondant flowers, curly wurlys, chocolate easter bunnies and pouring a whole lot of maple syrup will help us explore what is causing their destruction and how to help. Brew a cup of tea and bring along your favourite sponge cake recipe to share. 

Zoom link

Self-guided program:

rīvus Century: Humans and Rivers

Facilitated by Hongyu Su (Sylvia), Jing Ning (Ivy), Zining Ding, Yinghui Zhang, Weilin Fu 

The aim of this public project is to encourage people to explore the relationship between human civilisation and rivers, as well as the impact rivers bring to human life. In order to avoid flooding and to make transport easier, rivers have been drained, straightened, dredged and deepened. This has reduced the extent and duration of flooding and facilitated navigation. In addition to the benefits of channelisation, there have been significant impacts and losses to ecosystems. From the destruction of fish habitat to the erosion of river banks, channelisation has caused significant ecological damage, forcing former indigenous people out of their original habitats. This program encourages a series of engagements from simple questionnaires to a deeper exploration and analysis of responses from members of the Facebook page.

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Parramatta River Hiking Program

Facilitated by Min Che, Yuetong Xu, Yanlin Pan, Xuening Zhu, Lin Zou 

The Parramatta River Walk activity aims to connect water, people, present and future through curatorial guidance. Through the images and audio we produce, you’re invited to walk with us along the river, feeling the power of nature and listening to the sounds of the water. We invite you to reflect on the strong sense of identity and close connection to the land and waterways, as inspired by Indigenous artist and 23rd Biennale of Sydney participant, Badger Bates. A preliminary podcast can be accessed through the Parramatta River Hiking Facebook page to help guide you on your walk. The series will conclude by bringing people together for the final podcast encouraging storytelling and unity.

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Born of Rivers

Facilitated by Ziniu Lin, Jinyi Chen, Tianshu Zhang, Jingwen Yu 

Young people aged 13-16 years are invited to experience the unique wisdom that the river has brought to Indigenous Filipinos in terms of handicraft through the making of simple boats. The key outcomes are to learn about the Indigenous culture of the Philippines through the artist’s artwork, to raise public awareness of the preservation of Indigenous culture and the protection of river environments all around the world amongst young people.

This activity can be accessed online and includes a series of videos. All you need gather are some household craft materials.  

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 rīvus flow

Facilitated by Daeun Jung, collaborating with artist Boram Kim

You are invited to engage in a collaborative project between curator Daeun Jung and painter Boram Kim. The question ‘What is your fond memory of river?’ will be posted daily on the Instagram page @wearepickled on Stories section in both English and Korean until Monday, 13 June 2022.  Answers will be collected and reinterpreted by the artist who gathers words, sentences and objects. The reinterpretation of her own view will be painted in watercolour and exhibited on instagram page with one’s answer to the question as a caption for an artwork. 

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