Bundanon has opened its much-anticipated Art Museum and Bridge for Creative Learning and everyone is invited to the official launch weekend on 5-6 March 2022. Gifted to the Australian people in 1993 by painter Arthur Boyd and his wife Yvonne, Bundanon sits on 1,000 hectares of bush on the Shoalhaven River.
The new art museum will present exhibitions and house Bundanon’s collection while the Bridge has learning, accommodation and dining facilities to support its wide range of educational programs and artist residencies.
These new additions to Bundanon incorporate radical solutions to a changing climate, with both buildings designed to be defensible against fire and flood and with net-zero energy targets.
Bundanon Art Museum
Embedded within the landscape, the new Bundanon Art Museum will present a year-round program of exhibitions of modern, contemporary, and First Nations art, as well as new commissions.
It includes a state-of-the-art storage facility that will house and protect Bundanon’s extensive $46.5 million collection of some 4,000 items.
Architect Kerstin Thompson said that the design is driven by Bundanon’s main imperative, as established by the Boyd family, to foster an appreciation for and understanding of landscape and art.
“We have placed the site’s ecology at the centre of the design with the new suite of buildings and landscapes responding to Bundanon as both subject and site of Arthur Boyd’s work, seeking to heighten the visitor’s appreciation for the sights, sounds, textures, and ecological workings of the landscape. Both the Art Museum and Bridge respond to current and future climatic conditions, with inspiration drawn from rural Australia’s trestle flood bridges.”
The Art Museum and Collection Store are subterranean, with precious artworks housed and exhibited in an underground building that protects the works from diverse climate conditions and offers thermal stability in the form of the reinstated hill.
The Art Museum opens with the inaugural exhibition, From impulse to action, which draws on the creative energy of experimentation and runs from 29 January until 12 June 2022.
Arthur Boyd’s drawings were often the basis for larger works in his lifetime, leading to collaborative and multidisciplinary projects. Exhibition curator Sophie O’Brien has selected twelve new commissions by Australian contemporary artists, working in a diverse range of disciplines.
The new work by a younger generation of artists explores the energetic, raw, and generous spirit of Boyd, responding to this immediacy through choreography and film, photography and performance, weaving and sound, and clay from the Bundanon site. Participating artists: Arthur Boyd, Dean Cross, Rochelle Haley, Tina Havelock Stevens, Kate Jones, Jo Lloyd, Emily Parsons-Lord, Izabela Pluta, Uncle Steven Russell & Aunty Phyllis Stewart, Skye Saxon, Vivian Cooper Smith, Shan Turner-Carroll, and Kaitlen Wellington.
The Bridge for Creative Learning
The Bridge is a 160-metre long by 9-metre-wide structure that spans the existing gully in the sloping hillside, housing a world-class creative learning centre, with break-out spaces. It offers accommodation for up to 64 guests and café and dining facilities offering sweeping views over the Shoalhaven River.
The Bridge is treated like a piece of flood infrastructure with the architecture supporting the natural system of water flow across the site.
The Bridge encompasses Bundanon’s net-zero ambitions. Powered by solar panels it incorporates exemplary sustainability features including passive temperature management, black water treatment, harvesting and storing of rainwater, local materials throughout, and reduced reliance on fossil fuel sources.
Bundanon’s official launch weekend will be Saturday 5 March and this will be celebrated with a First Nations-led festival of performance, music, talks and workshops. Tickets can be booked online via this link
Established in 1993, Bundanon was gifted to the Australian people by Arthur and Yvonne Boyd, representing one of the most significant acts of philanthropy in the history of the arts in Australia.
Bundanon’s mission is to operate the property as a centre for creative arts and education, for scientific research, and a place to explore the landscape and engage with First Nations history and culture.
Bundanon is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications’ Office for the Arts, Create NSW, the University of Wollongong, Landcare Australia, and a range of other foundation, bequest, and philanthropic contributions.
Inspiring Australia NSW supports Bundanon to act as the lead partner in the Shoalhaven Science Hub. With Inspiring Australia’s support, Bundanon will commission two new, large-scale commissions for its Siteworks 2022 program, a longstanding public engagement experience that celebrates art and science and attracts over 1000 visitors to a wide range of programs and including an opportunity to camp overnight at the Bundanon property. These works will be presented at the new Art Museum as the central focus of the Siteworks 2022 program and will each weave together art, design and the environment.