From left: Tom Noonan, Oscar Jimenez, and Johanna Featherstone. Photography by Jamie Barry (2023).

Johanna Featherstone, poet, writer, founder of Red Room Poetry, and Chair of the Oranges & Sardines Foundation has been a member of the Board of the Biennale of Sydney since 2019. Johanna’s first introduction to the Biennale was as part of the audience. The first edition Johanna attended was the 17th and she recalls the feelings of awe in the unexpected and unique ways that audiences and artists could listen, see, and feel art as performances on and beyond the traditional gallery wall. As a donor, through the Oranges & Sardines Foundation, Johanna ensures the Biennale continues to offer a transformative experience for others completely free, while making space for artists and their artistic vision and allowing them to take risks in their practice.

Ten Thousand Suns greatly intrigues Johanna as the theme immediately suggests two juxtaposing ideas. The first being the terrifying implication of surviving in a boiling world, literally heated by ten thousand suns. Secondly, Ten Thousand Suns being something beautiful, an exuberant brightness of life and energy to take inspiration from. How does one survive and celebrate Ten Thousand Suns?

Interviewed by Harley Kendrick