Plastic-Free Biennale – NIRIN: 2020 Biennale of Sydney


Kim Williams, Lucas Ihlein


Cockatoo Island, Sydney and various locations


2019 – 2020

About the project

Plastic-free Biennale (Kim Williams and Lucas Ihlein) was commissioned by artistic director Brook Garru Andrew for NIRIN, the 2020 Biennale of Sydney. We were asked to facilitate the Biennale’s desire to go plastic-free (a metaphor for putting their environmental house in order).

We knew we were likely to fail – plastic is such a ubiquitous, useful material that is used extensively in the art industry and indeed in all of life. Nevertheless, we began a process, working with the Biennale organisation to make lasting changes in their exhibition practices. In fact, the Biennale organisation did make lasting changes as a result of our engagement!

This project involved a number of different angles: organisational consultancy, a physical installation, research, community engagement, mentoring emerging artists, writing manifestos, working with Wadi Wadi elder Aunty Barbara Nicholson, producing prints, writing a song, working with children to make a music video about household plastics, working with scientists to make a video about microplastics in waterways.



Plastic-Free Biennale scrapbook


Installation at Cockatoo Island




Guest Artists

MC Nannarchy (Helen Ramoutsaki) performance poet

See Helen’s COVID-version appearance here

The Sisters of Perpetual Plastix (Amber Jones and Juundaal Strang-Yettica)

To read more about the Sisters, click here.