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Announcing Teho Ropeyarn in 23 Biennale Sydney: rīvus

November 22, 2022
Teho Ropeyarn

Onespace Gallery is proud to announce that represented Cairns-based artist Teho Ropeyarn has been invited to participate in the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, titled rīvus.

Open to the public from 12 March – 13 June 2022, the exhibition will bring together existing and commissioned projects worldwide around the theme of rivers and waterways. The Curatorium for the 23rd Biennale of Sydney states: ‘Indigenous knowledge has long understood non-human entities as living ancestral beings with a right to life that must be protected. But only recently have some plants, mountains and bodies of water been granted legal personhood. If we can recognise that a river has a voice, what might they say?’

Ropeyarn’s inclusion recognises the vital need for First Nations artists to bring to light significant historical events and issues. Ropeyarn states: “My artwork reflects the continuation of cultural knowledge passed down from generations long ago, onto our Elders, who are now passing on all aspects of culture; language, tribal stories, significant landmarks and rituals, dancing and beliefs to the next generation…We are in a day and age where culture and grass root knowledge is slowly deteriorating due to Elders passing, our ever-changing lifestyle and social disadvantages in our communities. Practicing art, is one way of maintaining and developing culture, and has always been a part of Aboriginal culture. Through this tradition, it will preserve my culture in one way for years to come.”

The Biennale of Sydney has created meaningful dialogues surrounding Australia since its inception in 1973 and we are excited to see what Teho Ropeyarn will bring to the conversation. Congratulations to all selected artists together with Artistic Director José Roca and his curatorium; Paschal Daantos Berry, Anna Davis, Hannah Donnelly, and Talia Linz, as well as the whole team behind the 23rd Biennale of Sydney. For more information on the Biennale visit and for more information on Teho Ropeyarn’s practice visit

Image: Ben Searcy. Courtesy of the Art Gallery of South Australia.

For collectors

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters, culture, and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.