Information

The Fremantle Biennale is a biennial festival of site-responsive contemporary art. Our largely free program presents artworks from Australia and the world, in a festival that reveals and celebrates the cultural, social and historical distinctiveness of the Walyalup (Fremantle) region.

Founded in 2017, the Fremantle Biennale collaborates with artists to commission remarkable and experimental site-responsive contemporary art, across arts forms and practices. We facilitate and create opportunities, connections and transformative experiences between artists, audiences and place.

The Fremantle Biennale takes place on the unceded lands and waters of the Whadjuk people of the Nyoongar nation. We acknowledge the Whadjuk people as the traditional owners of the Walyalup area. We acknowledge elders past, present and emerging, and respect the living culture and heritage of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Fremantle Biennale is held every two years in the Nyoongar season of Kambarang (November). The last Fremantle Biennale, SIGNALS 23, took place from 3 – 19 November 2023. The next Fremantle Biennale will take place from 14 – 30 November 2025.

Complementing our core program, the Fremantle Biennale also presents touring projects across WA and Australia, including the First Lights project.

Founding Partner


Principal Partners


Presenting Partners


Industry Partners


Supporters


BIENNALE BENEFACTORS
Raoul Marks
Cirispin Butteriss & Amy Hubbard
Mary Hill
Michela & Adrian Fini
Susan & Ian Trahar
Libby & Rohan Williams
Tonia Ryan & Craig Peterson
Sue McDonald & Mark Westbrook
Helene Taylor & Darryl Mack
Mili & Franklin Gaffney
Jenny & David Martin

The Fremantle Biennale is a not-for-profit charity, and our programming is largely free to enjoy, which means our bi-annual festival and ongoing touring projects are entirely reliant on grants, government funding and the generosity of our partners and donors.

Any contribution goes a long way in helping us create extraordinary arts and cultural experiences, and a donation of any size is greatly appreciated. We’ve developed a range of (tax-deductible) ways you can contribute, with options for increased recognition and benefits.

Each of our donation tiers, named after our favourite shades of blue, comes with its own exclusive offers and benefits.

Lazuline: up to $500
Cobalt: $500 – $2,000
DONATE HERE

Azure: $2,000 – $10,000
Ultramarine: $10,000 –  $50,000

For donations over $2,000 please contact us directly to learn more about what your donations could do. Alternatively if you’d like to reach out on behalf of a business, or to discuss a potential partnership, please email tom@fremantlebiennale.com.au.

The Fremantle Biennale is committed to on-going learning and adaptability around access, cultural diversity and inclusion to ensure that everyone feels invited to and can participate in our festival.

The Fremantle Biennale offers different access and assistive services across our program and events. See the drop-down Access menu on each project page and look out for the below icons to learn more of what is on offer.

Auslan Interpreting

Auslan interpreting is provided at a number of our talks, performances and events. Look for the Auslan symbol displayed on the event page.

Audio Described Performances

A number of audio described performances will be held during the Fremantle Biennale. At these performances live verbal descriptions of actions, performances, objects, scenery and other visual elements.

Assistive Listening

At Assistive listening performances during the Fremantle Biennale, audio content can be streamed to an audience members smart device, which can be accessed via their Bluetooth headset or earphones.

Open Captioning

Open captioning allows people who are hard of hearing or Deaf to read accurate text displays of a performance or event on a screen. Check the event pages for more information.

Tactile Tours

A number of specialist Tactile tours are held across Fremante Biennale events. These tours allow people who are blind or have low vision to experience an event through touch, sound and conversation.

100 eye

No music or dialogue, or all dialogue is open captioned

75 eye

No music or sounds. Access to spoken word provided by open caption and/or script.

50 eye

May have music or sounds in the background. Open caption, scripts and descriptions are provided.

 

VENUE ACCESSIBILITY

Wheelchair accessible

This indicates that the venue/location is accessible for people with limited mobility, including wheelchairs. If this symbol is not listed on an event, access may be limited, so please contact us for more information.

Assistive access

This symbol indicates that assistance from a Companion is likely necessary for wheelchair users to navigate a space. Please see the Access information on each event page for more information.

We also recommend visiting transperth.wa.gov.au for up-to-date information on accessible transport to and from all our events.

The Fremantle Biennale recognises that a festival is and should be created with contributions from many voices. Our organisation centres on-going learning and adaptability across access, cultural diversity, and inclusivity to ensure our communities are represented in, invited to, and can participate in our program.

We consider ourselves a collective and a community made up of artists, writers, curators, partners, board members, advisors, and guides. Since its inception the Biennale has convened an Advisory Panel, a panel of experts from across Australia, including artists, creatives, architects, community members and stakeholders who support our staff and contribute to embedding diverse artists, perspectives, and experiences within our program.

The Biennale acknowledges and engages with Whadjuk Nyoongar Traditional Owners, their story-sharing, and ways of knowing in an effort to contribute to the cultural and environmental wellbeing and sustainability of Walyalup (Fremantle), its lands and waters. We believe the voices, wisdom, cultural knowledge, and leadership of First Nation people should be embedded in our festival. Listening to place, and acknowledging the past to enable truthful futures, are guiding principles for our festival.

The Fremantle Biennale is engaged in an on-going process of creative conciliation sessions – conversations between artists, Walyalup Elders and Cultural Knowledge holders, which have and will continue to guide our festival. Read about our current Cultural Advisory and Advisory Panels under People.

STAFF

Tom Mùller – Artistic Director, Co-Founder & CEO

Tom Mùller is an artist and contemporary curator interested in exploring the ways in which art intersects with the real world, outside of institutional contexts. As founder and artistic director of site-responsive enterprises such as Fremantle Biennale he brings art into direct contact with the social, environmental and economic landscapes of Western Australia. Context itself becomes the final creative act. As a curator, Tom’s boundary defining role is not just to create and encourage new premises under which art can be nurtured but to make it accessible to wider audiences in innovative and exciting ways.
Lives and works in Walyalup/Fremantle on Whadjuk Noongar Boodja.

Katherine Wilkinson – Program Director

Katherine is a creative producer and curator working across socially engaged, site-responsive, live and visual contemporary art practices. Prior to her role with the Fremantle Biennale, she was the former Curator at DADAA, a Creative Producer with Perth Festival (Witness Stand, 2021; Five Short Blasts, 2019) and the Special Projects and Revealed Coordinator at Fremantle Arts Centre. Her most recent projects centre place, water and care. Previously Katherine has worked on independent and collaborative projects, and held positions with; Artsource, International Art Space, the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, the Perth Public Art Foundation, the City of Melville, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and the Venice Biennale. Katherine works, lives and swims on the lands and waters of the Whadjuk Nyoongar people.

Eli Smith – Production Manager

Eli Smith is a veteran of artist services. A practising visual artist, Eli combines a creative and collaborative approach with over 20 years of technical expertise. Eli has brought large-scale arts and infrastructure projects to fruition. Highlights of these include managing an installation team on the WA Museum – Boola Bardip renovation project, managing three institutional collection relocations, coordinating a significant renovation project at Latrobe Regional Gallery, Victoria, and working as the touring exhibition manager for René Magritte: the Revealing Image in Australia and Hong Kong. As an artist, he won the inaugural Perrine Contemporary Art Award, was a finalist in the Lester Prize, and is collected nationally.

Ilona McGuire – Associate Artist

Ilona McGuire is a proud young Noongar/Kungarakan woman whose ancestry extends from Whadjuk Country to the Fitzmaurice region of the Northern Territory. Currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) at Curtin University, Ilona’s artistic direction was inborn with creative family members inspiring her to develop her talents. As a wide reader and humanitarian, Ilona’s artistic process is informed, consultative and accessible. Recurring themes such as cultural identity, spirituality and traditional versus contemporary Indigenous values reflects her own learning journey as a grounded young Indigenous woman in an increasingly ephemeral world. Ilona was the inaugural artist for First Lights and presented Moombaki as part of the 2021 Fremantle Biennale.

Thea Verall – Bookkeeper

 

BOARD

Pete Stone – Chair

Pete is a Fremantle local with 20 years of arts management, programming and production experience. Pete has a unique understanding and love of Fremantle and how it connects with its local and global community. The role that cross-organisational collaboration can play in unlocking the potential to realise ambitious programming is one of Pete’s driving passions. He is strongly committed to connecting more people to the arts through inviting and challenging programming. Pete’s previous positions include General Manager at Fremantle Arts Centre, Manager of Arts and Culture at the City of Fremantle, Producer at Perth Festival and Creative Producer, Arts and Culture at the City of Melville. His current role is Director, Creative Arts and Community at the City of Fremantle. Previous board experience includes terms as board member and President of West Australian Music (WAM). Pete has also worked on contemporary music grant assessment panels for state government funding.

Ariane Palassis – Deputy Chair

Receiving her Masters in Architecture from The University of Western Australia gave Ariane a broad skill base coupled with an appreciation for materiality and the details of construction. While practising, Palassis worked on a wide range of projects, from new residential and commercial developments to conservation works on some of WA’s most important heritage sites. These include Fremantle Prison, Sunset Hospital and the Midland Railway Workshops. In developing her own art practice, Ariane has continued to follow her architectural interest in the analysis of place as a repository of human memory and experience. Being Australian with Greek heritage, the displaced old-world rituals and the value of family mythologies and cultural traditions have played a large role in her work.

Craig Yaxley – Treasurer

Craig is a tax partner with KPMG, with over 30 years’ experience in finance, tax and accounting. He is a Fellow Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, a Chartered Tax Advisor, and a member of the Board of Taxation. Craig was previously a board member and treasurer of Black Swan State Theatre Company, and is a member of the KPMG Perth Art Committee.

Marcus Holmes – Secretary

Marcus is Principal of law firm Land Equity Legal. Marcus’ key role on the board is assisting with governance, compliance, risk management and developing and reviewing artists’ and sponsors’ contracts. He works with Aboriginal boards on similar work in the Native Title arena, including in development of corporate policies and procedures. Marcus is also involved in working with local government engaging with the Nyoongar native title settlement and Victoria’s proposed treaty.

Craig Peterson

Craig is the founder and managing director of Western Australian building firm, ICS Australia. With 30 years of experience in construction management, Craig brings extensive knowledge of design delivery, risk mitigation, heritage management and solutions-focused build-processes to the Fremantle Biennale board. A Fremantle stalwart, Craig is a strong advocate of contemporary arts, architecture and design – and has been a supporter of numerous community organisations including the Fly By Night Club, The Fremantle Men’s Community Shed, Melanoma WA and Kidney Health Australia.

Harsha Quartermaine

Harsha is the Director of Strategic Seed Marketing and holds a Communications Media Honours Degree from KIAD, Kent University, and a Masters of Marketing from University of Western Australia. She began her career as a semi-abstract fine artist and has extensive marketing experience working with art and design organisations, including the Tate Gallery, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. Living and working in Fremantle, Harsha is passionate about supporting and promoting inclusive, contemporary artistic experiences within the community.

Peter Woodward

Peter Woodward is the Project Director of landscape architecture practice UDLA  based in Fremantle. Throughout his career Peter has been involved in the incorporation of art and public art into built projects. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at Lancaster University and his Master of Arts at Sheffield University Faculty of Architectural Studies. Peter sits on the Heritage Council WA Register Committee and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

ADVISORY PANEL

The Advisory group is a panel of experts from across Australia who advise the Fremantle Biennale on matters of artistic, ethical and cultural programming. Our 2024-25 panel members are:

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah (b. 1977) is an artist living and working on Wadjuk Nyungar country, on a cattle property in the Peel region of Western Australia. Working primarily in sculpture and installation, he explores the intersections of identity, culture and the natural world. Living and working in an agricultural environment, his practice offers alternative perspectives across diverse, and often disparate communities.

Abdul-Rahman graduated from Curtin University in 2012. Selected projects include Adelaide Biennial 2016 and 2022 (AGSA); Dark Horizons 2017 (Pataka Art Museum NZ); The National 2019 (MCA); Everything is true 2021 (John Curtin Gallery – solo exhibition, Perth Festival); Land Abounds 2023 (Ngununggula); Tarrawarra Biennial 2023 and Uchiboso Arts Festival, Chiba Japan 2024. In 2018 he was shortlisted with Abdul Abdullah for the 58th Venice Biennale. He was a board member for Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2017-21); Public Art advisor, City of Perth (2018); set designer for intercultural dance company Marrugeku (2019,2023) and completed a fellowship with Regional Arts (WA) (2021/23). Abdul-Rahman’s work is held in public, corporate, university and private collections. In 2023 he was appointed to the council for The National Gallery of Australia. Abdul-Rahman Abdullah is committed to the sanctity of human rights applied equally, standing in opposition to colonial violence, militarism and apartheid policies.

Jala Adolphus

Jala is Manager of Projects & Development at Asialink Arts and an Independent Producer specialising in the field of contemporary Indonesian performing arts. For over 10 years she has produced for leading Indonesian choreographers and directors including Garin Nugroho, Rianto and Eko Supriyanto, working across the long-term map of projects, funding, strategic planning, production and touring circuits. She has designed and delivered industry delegation tours for the Australia Indonesia Institute – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and consulted for the Australian Council for the Arts leadership program in Indonesia. A member of the Asian Producers Platform since 2014 and founding member of the Asia Network for Dance (AND+), her focus within the Asia Pacific region is combined with extensive international networks of artists, presenters, practitioners and institutions.

Kate Ben-Tovim

Kate is a curator, executive producer and cultural policy specialist. During her 20+ years in the arts, Kate has worked with artists, cultural institutions and governments in Indonesia, India, China, PNG, UK and throughout Australia.
Kate loves to bring new ideas to life and has played a founding role in some of Australia’s most innovative cultural projects including Asia TOPA (founding Associate Director- 2017 & 2020), Oz Fest India Asia Pop Fest, PASIFIX and The Black Arm Band. Her boutique cultural agency Turning World provides advice to every level of Government, regularly collaborating with DFAT on cultural diplomacy initiatives and with major international events including London Olympics and GC Commonwealth Games.
Kate has been based in Walyulup/Fremantle since 2021, collaborating with Perth Festival Special Projects, WA State Government, WAM Boola Bardip and ECU on new initiatives. She served on Minister Burke’s National Cultural Policy Expert Review Panel and has been awarded a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship, Greenroom Award (Curatorial Contribution) and multiple Helpmann Awards.

Annika Kristensen

Annika Kristensen is an experienced curator with a particular interest in commissioning new work by contemporary artists, art in the public domain, and broadening audiences for the arts. Most recently in the position of Visual Arts Curator at Perth Festival (2023 and 2024), Annika was previously Senior Curator at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in Melbourne, where she worked with major international and Australian artists to commission new work and curate significant solo and group exhibitions. Recent exhibitions at ACCA include Laure Prouvost: Oui Move in You (with Max Delany, 2024); Like a Wheel That Turns (with Max Delany, 2023); Frances Barrett: Meatus (2022); Who’s Afraid of Public Space? (with Max Delany and Miriam Kelly 2021-22); Jeremy Deller: Father and Son (with Max Delany, 2021); Haroon Mirza: The Construction of an Act (2019); The Theatre is Lying (with Max Delany, 2018-19); Eva Rothschild: Kosmos (with Max Delany, 2018); Unfinished Business: Perspectives on art and feminism (with Paola Balla, Max Delany, Julie Ewington, Vikki McInnes and Elvis Richardson, 2017–18); Greater Together (2017); Claire Lambe: Mother Holding Something Horrific (with Max Delany, 2017) and NEW16 (2016).
Annika was Exhibition and Project Coordinator for the 19thBiennale of Sydney (2014) and the inaugural Nick Waterlow OAM Curatorial Fellow for the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012). She has also held positions at Frieze Art Fair, Artangel, Film and Video Umbrella, London; and The West Australian newspaper, Perth. Annika holds an MSc In Art History, Theory and Display from the University of Edinburgh, following undergraduate studies in Arts (Communication Studies) at the University of Western Australia.

Loren Kronemyer

Loren Kronemyer is an artist living and working in regional lutruwita (Tasmania), Australia. Her works span interactive and live performance, experimental media art, and large-scale worldbuilding projects aimed at exploring ecological futures and queered survival skills. She is featured in Free | State, the 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, and was presented by Michael Bugelli Gallery for Melbourne Art Fair 2021. Her 2020 project Millennial Reaper (Fremantle Biennale 2021, Melbourne Art Fair 2021) saw her learn and adapt the traditional art of broom-making via a subversive intergenerational factory. Her 2018 work After Erika Eiffel (ANTI Festival 2018, MONA FOMA 2020) saw her seduce audiences into learning to shoot their first arrows in via a custom archery range. She is co-curator of PREPPERS, which has toured Australia since 2017. In 2017, Kronemyer was the first artist in residence at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. As part of duo Pony Express, she has co-created iconic, large-scale live artworks including Ecosexual Bathhouse (2016) and Epoch Wars (2018-2022).
She collaborates frequently with laboratories and received the first Masters of Biological Arts Degree from SymbioticA Lab at the University of Western Australia. Her work has been hosted by ANTI Festival of live art (Finland), Santarcangelo Festival (Italy), Forum of the Future (Portugal), Interformat Symposium (Lithuania), Dark Mofo, MONA FOMA, Liveworks, Next Wave, The Perth Institute for Contemporary Art, The Perth International Arts Festival, The Australian Centre for Photography, and The School of Visual Art (New York). She holds a PhD from the University of Tasmania.

Brad Spolding

Brad Spolding is a programmer, curator and producer. He was appointed the inaugural Arts Program Director at the Brisbane Powerhouse in March 2022. For the 7 years prior, he was the Artistic Director of The Substation, a multi-art space presenting a curated program of contemporary, experimental art in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Brad holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts, a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management and a Master of Arts and Community Practice from the University of Melbourne. He is a board member of the Macfarlane Fund, an alumnus of the Cranlana and Australia Council Leadership programs, and a founding member of Theatre Network Australia.

Dr. Robert Wood

Dr. Robert Wood is interested in good stories, human rights, and community service. Robert is the Director of Writing and Publishing at the Centre for Stories, where he has worked since 2018. Prior to that, he was an Endeavour Fellow at Columbia University in New York City, Assistant Editor at Kochi-Muziris Biennale in South India where his family are from, and a Research Consultant with Tarruru Indigenous Heritage in the Pilbara. The author of five books and three hundred journal publications, Robert lives with his wife and two children at Boodjamaling on Whadjuk Country. In 2024, he was awarded the Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop Fellowship from Asialink and University of Melbourne for humanitarian service to Asian-Australian relations.

CULTURAL ADVISORY PANEL

Ilona McGuire

Ilona McGuire is a proud Whadjuk, Ballardong, Yuat and Kungarakan woman and artist. Her bloodlines run from Whadjuk boodja (country) to the Fitzmaurice region of the Northern Territory. Working primarily in printmaking, painting, and installation, her works often speak to cultural identity, traditional versus contemporary and her own spirituality. More recently, Ilona has worked in drone choreography, sound design and narration. The 2021 Fremantle Biennale opened with her work, Moombaki. Moombaki saw 160 drones take flight to share Whadjuk Dreamtime stories in an immersive experience of light, movement, and sound. Expression through her narration, music, design/choreography and space created a spiritual experience, site-specific and responsive to Whadjuk boodja.

Aurora Abraham

As a Whadjuk Noongar woman, Aurora maintains deep connections throughout the Noongar nation and wider Aboriginal communities. Her expertise and experience across the arts and Aboriginal health sectors reflects her sense of pride and care in both her professional and personal endeavours. Currently at Western Australian General Practice Education and Training (WAGPET), Aurora works in Aboriginal Health Training Coordination and Cultural Mentorship. Through supporting health professionals and bridging gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, Aurora is committed to culturally appropriate outcomes. Furthermore, Aurora’s artistic practice is grounded in expression of cultural knowledge, pride, and her love for storytelling. Often exploring themes of culture, family and boodja (land) her artworks have featured throughout Perth. Along with Noongar artist group Deadly Dozen, her public artwork exhibited at Elizabeth Quay in response to her relationship to the Derbal Yerrigan (Swan River).

Walter McGuire Jnr.

Walter McGuire is a descendent of several tribal groups in the Southwest of WA, Walter is a Traditional Owner of Nyoongar Boodjar which includes the Whadjuk lands on which Perth City stands. Walter is a strong advocate and example of self-determination. In 1998, he graduated university with a Bachelor of Applied Science (ACM DP) (Curtin University). He also holds a Cert IV in Training and Assessment (2015) and was a lecturer and mentor until he decided to work for himself as hard as he’d worked for others. Walter is now owner/operator of the multi award winning tourism business – Go Cultural Aboriginal Tours and Experiences – offering authentic experiences to visitors to Perth at a range of locations: Elizabeth Quay, Kings Park, Yagan Square and Rottnest Island. As principal guide and traditional owner of Perth region, Walter is focussed on providing world-class authentic cultural walking tours and experiences to local, interstate, and international visitors alike. With his tourism venture, Walter has literally made it his business to promote and help sustain Aboriginal culture through his city tours, cultural presentations, and advisory service.

Clive Smith

Clive Smith is a traditional owner of Wadjuk lands and speaks for his country in the language of his Ancestors. Clive is a staunch advocate for his community and dedicated practitioner of Noongar culture, heritage and language with his many involvements taking him across his country to record and preserve heritage sites for his family and future generations.

The Fremantle Biennale is created by a team of artists, producers and curators who are committed to creating a working environment and festival that foregrounds diversity and community.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Fremantle Biennale, please keep an eye on our social media channels, as we do a call out for volunteers prior to each festival.

Stay up to date with the latest Fremantle Biennale news!

For general enquiries, contact info@fremantlebiennale.com.au

OFFICE

Level 1
1A Pakenham Street
Fremantle WA 6160
Australia

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