Biennale unites artists around world

AS October’s Mildura Palimpsest Biennale­­­ draws near, two inter­national artists have been exploring the connections between Mildura and their homelands.

Bill Balaskas, Jonathan Kimberley and Junichero Iwase preparing for the biennale. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Bill Balaskas, Jonathan Kimberley and Junichero Iwase preparing for the biennale. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

The biennale is celebrating its 10th anniversary and 70 artists around the world will be represented.

Bill Balaskas, one of the artists taking part, is originally from Greece and studied economics there before moving to the UK to study art.

He has been conducting research in Mildura before deciding on what his biennale project would look like, but he said meeting local Greek community members had provided inspiration.

He has interviewed remaining elders who had migrated here following World War II, which drew parallels to the younger generations in Greece facing financial uncertainty.

“It was a very emotional and interesting experience because the kind of stories they were telling me were very similar to the stories you might hear from young people at the moment in Greece who leave the country because of the economic crisis to try to find a better future,” Mr Balaskas said.

“This is the exact same kind of narrative that you would hear from people (here) in the late ’70s, early ’80s or even ’90s … so I’m very interested in trying to highlight those connections.”

Junichero Iwase, a Canadian artist of Japanese ancestry, has been in Mildura three weeks and for his biennale project has completed an installation in the glass atrium at the ADFA building.

The material Mr Iwase works with is egg shells and he decided to continue the use of natural materials in Mildura with the help of branches found by the Murray River.

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