Join us for a spotlight talk with 24th Biennale of Sydney artists, Orquideas Barrileteras, who will appear by their work on display in the Boiler House at White Bay Power Station to discuss the themes and content of the works, their practice within the tradition of kite-making in Guatemala, and the process of realising the project.


Orquideas Barrileteras, the women of Guatemala’s Barrilete Festival, are a group based in Sumpango, Guatemala. Traditionally built and flown by men, Orquedias Barrileteras is the first all female group of kite makers, made up of 22 members and spanning three generations. The first of November is marked by the annual All Saints Day Barrilete Festival, when immense barriletes (kites) are flown to honour the dead. The barriletes are closely tied to the Indigenous Mayan culture within Guatemala and stretch 5m wide. Lovingly and intricately designed, the kites are handmade using cloth, paper, bamboo, tissue, string, and natural materials. Sharing familial stories, cultural themes and many emotions through pattern and bright colours, the kites are flown in a celebration of both life and those who have been lost.

Logos, from left: Creative Australia, Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, NSW Government, City of Sydney, Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Neislon Foundation, Mrvac, and Destination NSW

Orquideas Barrileteras supported by Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain