The third iteration of the Fremantle Biennale is back for 2021 with the theme CROSSING 21.

Kicking off on 5 November in its most ambitious format yet, a huge program of site-responsive installations, participatory artworks, immersive performances, and events and workshops are set to transform Fremantle into a city-wide art gallery.



This year, the main locations for CROSSING 21 will trace the shores of the Swan River from Fremantle to Point Walter and through to Coogee Beach, with a focus of activity between the two iconic Fremantle bridges.

The banks of the Swan River will house nearly half of the large-scale artworks and performances so get your walking shoes ready, here are some of our top picks for the festival.

The Fremantle Biennale will present an Australian first with Moombaki. A fleet of 160 choreographed drones will take flight over the river and ocean, transforming the night sky in an epic spectacle of light, movement, and sound to tell ancient and living stories of place. Led by emerging Nyoongar artist Ilona McGuire, Moombaki will be a first of its kind show to be presented in Australia and promises to delight.

Moombaki will take place across three different locations across each weekend of the festival, so you have no excuse to miss it.

Find out more: Moombaki

Tightness Times Toughness (TxT)
Artist Bruno Booth was born with congenital malformation of the lower limbs and his work reflects his own experiences navigating life in a wheelchair — his preferred mode of transport. Booth’s major participatory experience for the Fremantle Biennale will invite audiences to jump in a wheelchair and traverse two long tunnels, echoing the proportions of the Fremantle traffic bridges and the deepest channel of the river, spurring challenging moments of awkwardness and discomfort.

Tightness Times Toughness can be experienced at North Worral Park from Thursday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm.

Details can be found here: Tightness Times Toughness 

The Commonwealth of New Bayswater
A crowd favourite in 2019, Jessee Lee Johns has returned for 2021. When The Commonwealth first debuted, it saw Jessee take-over the South Mole to create a pop-up resort from scavenged materials complete with services for paying guests. Building on this concept, The Commonwealth of New Bayswater will quite literally create a small and ephemeral nation with a collection of territories offering single entry tourist visas to travellers from all over the world. The Commonwealth of New Bayswater is set to deliver plenty of surprises, so in Jessee’s words “Grab your passport, lower your expectations and embark on a 100% genuine overseas journey.”

Find out more and purchase your visas here: The Commonwealth of New Baywater 

Imagine this, the sun is setting and a floating chorus of couta yachts cruise down the Swan River, calling out to the river and drifting song to a waiting audience on the shoreline. Award-winning West Australian composer, Rachel Dease, and sound designer and composer, Tim Collins, have collaborated to conceive the immersive, ephemeral and site-responsive experience for Perth’s small community of couta boat custodians. It promises to be quite spectacular.

Three performances are set to happen throughout the Fremantle Biennale, find out more here: Vespers

Outside In
There is no disagreeing that it has been an interesting 18 months. And one artwork reflecting this turbulent and isolating period is Outside In by award-winning First Nations choreographer and dancer Amrita Hepi. Inspired by Noongar Radio’s Inside Out radio show which connects loved ones separated due to prison, Hepi has set up a hotline in the lead up to the Fremantle Biennale. The hotline invites dedications, messages or songs to loved ones you haven’t seen due to confinement and isolation. Dedications will be re-danced from the Naval Store in a continuous audio and dance work.

CALL NOW. SEND LOVE 0474 855 765.


Find out more here: Outside In


Word: Ruby Kingsmill

Imagery: Supplied