Primavera: Young Australian Artists

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia’s annual Primavera: Young Australian Artists exhibition showcases the work of Australian artists aged 35 years and under. In its 32nd year, Primavera has been guest curated by Talia Smith, who considers what artists are creating to challenge society’s prescribed structures.

Through works of various media, including installation, video, painting, sculpture, mark-making and text, the six artists – Tiyan Baker (b. 1989, Garramilla/Darwin), Christopher Bassi (b. 1990, Meanjin/Brisbane), Moorina Bonini (b. 1996, Naarm/Melbourne), Nikki Lam (b. 1988, Hong Kong), Sarah Poulgrain (b. 1992, Thul Garrie Waja/Townsville) and Truc Truong (b. 1987, Tarndanya/Adelaide) – draw on their lived experience to disrupt the dynamics of power and deliver compelling alternatives to the status quo.

Primavera was initiated in 1992 by MCA Australia in collaboration with Dr Edward Jackson AM and Mrs Cynthia Jackson AM, in memory of their daughter Belinda. Since its inception, Primavera has played an influential role in the development of contemporary art in Australia, introducing a generation of artists at an early stage of their careers to a broader public. Each year the curator of Primavera undertakes extensive research, travelling across the country to meet young artists.


"What brings these artists together is the way they reckon with the perils of history, education, culture, and language to question authoritative structures and systems. They assert that there is more than one way of living and offer impressions of how it might look."

Talia Smith



Talia Smith is an artist and curator from Aotearoa who is now based in Sydney, Australia. She has curated exhibitions for organisations such as the Singapore International Photography Festival, IMA, UTS Gallery, Ballarat Foto Biennale and Cement Fondu among others. Her writing has appeared in various publications such as Memo Review, Art New Zealand and artist catalogue essays and books. She has completed research residencies in Singapore and Germany and currently works as the curator at Granville Centre Art Gallery.

Talia Smith with her exhibition Don’t be bashful, wear the flower behind your ear, installation view Murray Art Museum Albury, NSW, 2022. Photo Jeremy Weihrauch



Tiyan Baker
Born 1989, Garramilla/Darwin. Lives and works Mulubinba/Newcastle, NSW.

Tiyan Baker is a Malaysian Bidayǔh-Anglo Australian artist who works with installation, photography, video, and sculpture. Her practice draws on historical research, language, digital processes, and material play to trace unseen relationships between words, place, and stories.

Christopher Bassi
Yupungathi and Meriam peoples. Born 1990, Meanjin/Brisbane. Lives and works Meanjin/Brisbane.

Christopher Bassi is an artist of Meriam, Yupungathi and British descent. Working with archetypal models of representational painting, his work engages with the medium as sociological and historical text and as a means of addressing issues surrounding cultural identity, alternative genealogies, and colonial legacies in Australia and the South Pacific.

Moorina Bonini
Yorta Yorta, Wurundjeri, and Wiradjuri peoples. Born 1996, Naarm/Melbourne. Lives and works Naarm/Melbourne.

Moorina Bonini is a descendant of the Yorta Yorta Dhulunyagen family clan of Ulupna and the Yorta Yorta, Wurundjeri, and Wiradjuri Briggs/McCrae family. An artist whose works are informed by her experiences as an Aboriginal and Italian woman, her practice attempts to disrupt and critique Eurocentric ideas of the Indigenous, especially within western institutions.

Nikki Lam
Born 1988, Hong Kong. Lives and works Naarm/Melbourne.

Nikki Lam is a Hong Kong-born artist, curator and producer based in Naarm/Melbourne. Working primarily with moving images, her work explores hybridity and memory through the contemplation of time, space and impermanence.

Sarah Poulgrain
Born 1992, Thul Garrie Waja/Townsville. Lives and works Meanjin/Brisbane.

Sarah Poulgrain’s practice draws on self-sustainability and artist-led pedagogy to expand what art institutions can do. Though they produce sculptures, their practice is primarily concerned with building and sustaining respectful and non-hierarchical relationships.

Truc Truong
Born 1987, Tarndanya/Adelaide. Lives and works Tarndanya/Adelaide.

Truc Truong is a visual artist based on Peramangk and Kaurna Country, Adelaide. Her art practice is primarily focused on assemblage and installation.



The Condensery | Somerset Regional Art Gallery, QLD – 13 July -1 September 2024

Noosa Regional Gallery, QLD – 14 September – 3 November 2024

Cowra Regional Art Gallery, NSW – 15 December 2024 – 2 February 2025

Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, NSW – 14 February – 23 March 2025

Bank Art Museum Moree, NSW – 4 April – 31 May 2025

Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, NSW – 21 June – 10 August 2025

Wangaratta Art Gallery, VIC – 23 August – 19 October 2025

Latrobe Regional Gallery, VIC – 31 October 2025 – 15 February 2026

Murray Bridge Regional Gallery, SA – 16 May – 19 July 2026





A Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Museums & Galleries of NSW touring exhibition curated by Talia Smith. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program.