Field Day at Bundanon

By Kirsty Wandmaker

The second Bundanon Field Day was a chance to explore art, science and sustainability in the grounds of Bundanon on the Shoalhaven River.

As the lead organisation of the Shoalhaven Regional Science Hub, Bundanon Trust was proud to again host its second Bundanon Field Day on 7 May 2016. This unique event provided community members and visitors from outside the region an opportunity to experience the science, art and natural beauty of the Bundanon landscape with its historical relationships to the Shoalhaven River and the surrounding environment.

Bundanon was the home of and inspiration for the celebrated Australian artist Arthur Boyd who once said: “Everything I do is the environment”. Arthur Boyd was one of Australia’s foremost painters with a unique and distinctive style, capturing the beauty of the Australian landscape and its inhabitants. Often blending religious motifs, his works are now featured in major art galleries and in Parliament House.

Arthur Boyd was born into a family of artists and creators, whose familial works are now on display in the 1866 family homestead at Bundanon and include an extensive range of portraits, landscapes, sculptures and ceramic works. Arthur and Yvonne Boyd granted Bundanon to the people of Australia, an 1100ha property that is now known as Bundanon Trust. The Trust runs retreats for artists and is also the convener of the region’s Science Hub supported by Inspiring Australia.

Among participants in this year’s Field Day event were Conservation Volunteers Australia, Shoalhaven Landcare Association, Wildlife Rescue South Coast, Shoalhaven Riverwatch, Rural Fire Service and Bushcare. A great line up of hands on activities and talks were on offer including from Sue Feary, the President of the Australian Forest History Society, who shared the history of man’s intervention in the Shoalhaven, from the soft footprint of ancient indigenous communities to the rough and tumble of colonial Cedar getting.

Landcare Australia’s CEO Tessa Jakszewicz then discussed the importance of leadership in land care and the recent Stella Prize-winning author Charlotte Wood gave a reading of some of the work she had creating while in residence at Bundanon.

There were plenty of activities throughout the day for kids big and small with Shoalhaven Zoo presenting some animal displays, Wildlife Rescue South Coast bringing along some snakes and even a small flying fox. Various walks explored different areas of Bundanon’s environments, from the rehabilitation work of the Green Army, to the English Homestead garden, to a Eucalyptus identification walk and Ralph Dixons one-man-show.

The Bundanon Educators were joined by artist Meagan Pelham in running creative environmental arts workshops all day. As the second Bundanon Field Day it was a huge success, with a great blend of education, science, artistic interpretation and environmental awareness enjoyed by all who attended.

Kirsty Wandmaker is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Bundanon Trust. The lead organisation of the Shoalhaven Regional Science Hub, Bundanon has recently been awarded funds from Inspiring Australia to develop an art science project entitled Bundanon The Medieval as part of its annual Siteworls program that will be held later this year.