Hyphenated Biennial: The threads we hold together

  • Jenna Lee and Mackenzie Lee, /ill-lustrous/ photo poetry exchange, 2020.
    Jenna Lee and Mackenzie Lee, /ill-lustrous/ photo poetry exchange, 2020.
Hyphenated Biennial: The threads we hold together
Opening event: Saturday 4 December (RSVP required)
Event Information

Hyphenated Biennial: The threads we hold together is a collective record of how Hyphenated Biennial has come to be, presented as a gathering. A gathering where there is space to contemplate, a gathering where the outcome is in its process and transformation—a gathering that we wish we had. 

In acknowledging the time we did not spend together due to the pandemic, here we share our processes throughout the past 18 months. We hope this series of records will provoke a collective future that is grounded in openness and our ability to dialogue, collaborate, and support each other. 

Join us at the opening event for Welcome to Country at Footscray Community Arts, with K-Pop dance performance by Omni Dance Crew, before moving on to The Substation for the main exhibition and socials.

Opening event: Saturday 4 December (RSVP required)
11am at Footscray Community Arts, Riverside Lawn
12:30pm at The Substation

Exhibiting: 26 November –  19 December
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday: 9.30am – 5:00pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am – 4pm

Co-presented by Hyphenated Projects and Footscray Community Arts, as part of Hyphenated Biennial 2021-2022.

Hyphenated Biennial is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

This exhibition was generously supported by the Sidney Myer Fund and The Myer Foundation.

Date & Times

26 November – 19 December

Roslyn Smorgon Gallery



This exhibition contains audio content, captions available.

Learn more about COVID safety at Footscray Community Arts.

There is step-free access, accessible parking and a taxi pick up/drop off area on site.

Meet the Artists
  • Jenna Lee and Mackenzie Lee

    Jenna Lee is a mixed race Larrakia, Wardaman and Karajarri woman whose contemporary art practice explores the acts of identity/identification, label/labelling and the relationships formed between language, label and object. Being a Queer, Mixed Race, European, Asian (Japanese, Chinese and Filipino), Aboriginal Woman, Lee’s practice is strongly influenced by her overlapping identities, childhood memory as well as maternal teachings of subject, material and process. Recent work explores the transformation of the printed word through the ritualistic acts of destruction and reconstruction, seeking to translate the page into a new tangible language. 

    Mackenzie Lee is a queer, multiracial poet currently residing in Ngunnawal country (Canberra, ACT). With strong ties to her Larrakia, Wardaman, and Karajarri heritage, as well as her Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and European ancestry, she uses poetry as a vessel to unite and explore her many cultural identities. Through the use of words and language, she is interested in sharing the kaleidoscope that is her personal identity, as well as exploring the connections within people, land, and society. 

  • Elyas Alavi 

    Elyas Alavi’s practice is interdisciplinary bridging elements from poetry to visual arts, from archive to everyday events with the intention to address issues around displacement, trauma, memory and sexual identity. He reflects upon his background as a displaced Hazara (a marginalized ethnic group originally from Afghanistan), and use his particular experiences and contemplations as an epistemological model for the dislocation of people and collective memories. Alavi graduated from a Master of Visual Arts at the University of South Australia in 2016, and has exhibited at Mohsen Gallery (Tehran), Robert Kananaj (Toronto), IFA (Kabul),  Firstdraft (Sydney), as well as Ace Open, Felt Space, Nexus Arts (all Adelaide).

  • Moorina Bonini 

    Moorina Bonini is a proud descendant of the Yorta Yorta Dhulunyagen family clan of Ulupna  and the Yorta Yorta and Wurundjeri-Woiwurrung Briggs/McCrae family. Moorina is an artist whose works are informed by her experiences as an Aboriginal and Italian woman. Her practice is driven by a self-reflexive methodology that enables the reexamination of lived experiences that have influenced the construction of her cultural identity. By unsettling the narrative placed upon Aboriginal people as a result of colonisation of Aboriginal Australia, Bonini’s practice is based within Indigenous Knowledge systems and brings this to the fore. 

  • Jazz Money and Joel Spring

    Jazz Money is an award-winning poet, filmmaker and digital producer of Wiradjuri heritage, currently based on the beautiful sovereign lands of the Darug and Gundungurra nations. Her poetry has been published and spoken widely across so-called ‘Australia,’ and reimagined as murals, installation and video art. Jazz is the 2020 winner of the David Unaipon Award. Her first collection of poetry How to Make A Basket is published by UQP in 2021. 

    Joel Spring is a Wiradjuri man raised between Redfern and Alice Springs. A Sydney-based architecture graduate, he is an interdisciplinary artist working between solo works and Future Method studio. Working across research, activism, architecture, and broadcasting, he currently focuses on the contested narratives of Sydney’s and Australia’s urban culture and Indigenous history in the face of ongoing colonisation. Joel has experience creating, producing, recording radio/podcasts and other sonic work. 

  • Jacob Boehme, Nithya Nagarajan and Kalanjay Dhir 

    Jacob Boehme is a Melbourne born and raised artist of the Narangga and Kaurna Nations, South  Australia. Jacob is a multi-disciplinary theatre maker and choreographer, creating work for stage, screen,  large-scale public events and festivals. Jacob has led the artistic direction of Tanderrum  (Melbourne Festival), Boon Wurrung Ngargee (Yalukit Willam Festival), Thuwathu (Cairns  Indigenous Arts Fair), Geelong After Dark and is the founding Creative Director of Yirramboi  Festival, recipient of the 2018 Green Room Award for Curatorial Contribution to Contemporary and  Experimental Arts. Jacob has choreographed for the opening ceremonies of Dreamtime at the G,  FINA World Swimming Championships and the Cricket World Cup. Jacob is the writer and  performer of the critically acclaimed solo work Blood on the Dance Floor, recipient of the 2017  Green Room Award Best Independent Production. 

    Nithya Nagarajan is an artist and curator whose practice adopts movement as a system of inquiry into the sacred, the sensual and the decolonial. Her performance work affects sensory perceptions of the witness through a collaborative process of devising, underprinned by a strong feminist sensibility. With a foundational training in Bharatanatyam, Nithya is interested in an expanded understanding of movement as: grammar, raw material, counterpoint, construct, deconstruct, philosophy, system, organised effort, political conduit and chaos. Living between Australia and India, via Kuwait and the UK, she has the curiosity of a visitor on Gadigal country. Nithya has also delivered a number of curatorial projects, working predominantly with artist activists from the subcontinent, for key festivals globally. She holds an award-winning PhD in performance studies. 

    Kalanjay Dhir is an artist and musician based in Western Sydney on unceded Darug Land. He has made work about urban development, space technology, rivers, myth, social media, progress and time. He enjoys thinking about what the world would look like if things were built with a devotion similar to gardens or places of worship. In 2020 Kalanjay presented work for Next Wave Festival and was the recipient of the Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Scholarship (Emerging). He is a co-founder of Pari, an artist-run space in Parramatta. Alongside Kilimi, Kalanjay hosts ‘Sunset with 2K’ on FBi Radio. In his spare time he likes to drink Milo, read Wikipedia and manga. 

  • Nikki Lam and Hannah

    Nikki Lam is an artist, curator and producer based in Narrm. Working primarily with moving images, her work explores hybridity and memory through the contemplation on time, space and impermanence. Born in Hong Kong, Nikki is interested in the complexity of migratory expressions within and beyond the concept of diaspora. With an expanded practice in writing, exhibition and festival making, she is currently co-director of Hyphenated Projects, curator-at-large at The Substation, and a board member at NETS Victoria. She has been the Artistic Director of Channels Festival alongside many hybrid roles in the arts including at ACMI, Next Wave, FACT Liverpool (UK), Footscray Community Arts Centre and Peril Magazine. Nikki holds an Executive Master of Arts from The University of Melbourne and is currently undertaking her practice-led PhD research at RMIT University.  

    Hannah is an inactive artist and amateur gardener.

  • Hyphenated Projects

    Hyphenated Projects is a platform for artists with transcultural practices and a collective that presents, collaborates and develops new ideas. Hyphenated Projects focus our work on supporting artists who operate with the hyphens: culturally, socially and geographically. Situated in a suburban house in Sunshine West, the space supports artists, producers and researchers through an on-going studio residency and development program.


This is a past event