Siteworks 2022: From a deep valley

dark landscape with water and trees

Bundanon’s annual celebration of art, science and nature Siteworks is back with a series of events over four weekends from 26 November 2022 to 26 February 2023, including two weekends during Sydney Festival in January.

In Dharawal the word Bundanon means deep valley. With a more than decade-long history at Bundanon, Siteworks 2022: From a Deep Valley will see the work of over 25 artists and 10 scientific researchers drawing on climate research, critical thinking, First Nations knowledge and technologies and creative digital spaces, throughout a major exhibition and a program of outdoor installations, performances, workshops, and digital artworks.

“For Siteworks 2022 we invite the public to engage and participate in an expansive program focussed on the imperative issues of our time, with over 35 artists and scientific researchers presented across Bundanon” says CEO of Bundanon, Rachel Kent.

Siteworks 2022 includes a program of Labortarium Talks with scientists, artists and First Nations knowledge holders, as well as workshops and performances that support the Inside, underground exhibition in the Art Museum, exploring the concept of interior weather. Responding to the architecture of the Art Museum at Bundanon, Australian artists Carolyn Eskdale, Susan Jacobs, Kate Scardifield, Lucy Simpson, and Isadora Vaughan will investigate the complex relationship between body and site using repurposed natural materials such as plant and animal matter, beeswax, oyster shells and algae.

Labortarium Talks

Over four Sundays, the Labortarium Talks are a quick-fire program of pithy talks, stories and presentations from leading scientists, artists and First Nations knowledge holders, as they present ‘weather reports’ from this time and place.

These events will later be uploaded to the online World Weather Network for those who miss out on the day.

Siteworks Laboratorium Talks: Sunday 27 November 2022

Speakers: Isadora Vaughan, Professor Mark Howden, Aunty Loretta Parsley with Kirli Saunders, DarkQuiet in conversation & Carolyn Eskdale.

Isadora Vaughan’s process-based and research-driven practice is informed by interests in permaculture, material intelligence, and the interdependence of human and non-human life. Oscillating somewhere between the formal and the alchemical, and employing a process of speculative questioning that draws from geology, craftsmanship and science, Vaughan’s works encourage audiences to reflect on and foster a sense of connection with the natural environment.

Vaughan will be speaking about her new commission for Inside, underground.

Professor Mark Howden is Director of the ANU Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions, an Honorary Professor at Melbourne University, a Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Chair of the ACT Climate Change Council and contributes to major national and international science and policy advisory bodies. He has been a major contributor to the IPCC since 1991, sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Navigating the valley of climate change will explore why we should care about climate change, what we can do about it and how the arts can play an enhanced role in generating action and commitment.

Celebrating the rematriation of culture, Yuin Walbunja Elder Aunty Lorretta Parsley and Gunai artist Kirli Saunders led an intensive on-Country residency for women on Yuin lands at Bundanon in September. Honouring the process of possum skin cloak making, the workshop invited 15 First Nations women to create a community cloak.

This session shares stories from the Possum Skin Cloak Project and celebrates the strength and resilience of First Nations women on Yuin lands.

A conversation with the DarkQuiet artists and special guests Fred Watson, Marnie Ogg, and Cass Lynch on how we might refocus ways of experiencing the rich complexity and fragility of the world.

We live under a constant barrage of artificial light, and the dark skies that have anchored human life and knowledge for thousands of years are disappearing as city lights encroach. Prominent in the Australian Dark Sky Alliance, Fred Watson and Marnie Ogg will expand on the importance of dark sky; for astronomy and society generally and relate progress on the increasing interest in reserving Dark Sky places and limiting light in urban contexts. Writer and researcher, and descendant of the Noongar people of the south coast of WA, Cass Lynch, will consider the up-close impacts on our insect friends. DarkQuiet is artists Madeleine Flynn, Jenny Hector and Tim Humphrey, with producer Erin Milne (Bureau of Works).

Carolyn Eskdale’s practice encompasses sculpture and intervention, working in tension with architectural sites as a context and reference. She seeks to place the viewer within an embodied experience of the work, in continual dialogue with processes of transformation and reconstruction of actual, remembered, and imagined actions. Her works feature the transference of surface and relations of space and form, through the trace of hand from one surface to another.

Eskdale will be speaking about her new commission exploring the concept of an emotional weather report for Inside, underground.

When: 27 November 202, 10.30am to 12.30pm
Where: Art Museum, Bundanon
More information

Siteworks Laboratorium Talks: Sunday 15 January 2023

Part of Sydney Festival 2023.

Speakers: Distinguished Professor Noel Cressie, Dr Prudence Gibson, Rebecca Mayo, Aunty Deidre Martin and Jacob Morris, Djinama Yilaga and Dr Pauline Jones.

Distinguished Professor Noel Cressie, University of Wollongong (UOW) is a world leader in environmental informatics, researching big-science problems using big-data sources. His recent research involves hunting for atmospheric-carbon-dioxide sources around the world and focusing on Antarctica’s environmental future. He is Director of the Centre for Environmental Informatics in the National Institute for Applied Statistics Research Australia (NIASRA) at UOW.

Dr Cressie will present a climate report on Earth’s heat and ice.

Dr Prudence Gibson is the Lead Chief Investigator on The Tellus Art Project which aims to re-value the plant collection of the Herbarium through the mediation of art. It addresses the affliction of plant blindness, wherein many people do not recognise or value the plant life around them, particularly in an epoch of climate change and species extinction.

Gibson will discuss how The Tellus Art Project makes connections between plant ontologies, politics, ethics and art, drawing from her book The Plant Contract: Art’s return to vegetal life (2018).

Rebecca Mayo lectures at the School of Art & Design, ANU. Mayo’s research examines how an art practice built around process, repetition and labour can produce artworks that manifest through—and reveal—practices of care. Her work for Siteworks 2022, The Plant Sensibilia Machine, is a large-scale hand-operated dyeing machine that brings the dyeing process out of the studio and into the public realm.

Join Mayo in conversation with collaborators Aunty Deidre Martin and Jacob Morris as they discuss the collaboration and stories of plants and people living and growing together on Yuin Country.

The Djinama Yilaga Choir is an intergenerational Yuin choir, establish in 2019 and led by renowned Walbunga/Ngarigo artist, Cheryl Davison. Djinama Yilaga perform songs in Dhurga language.

Dhurga was spoken and understood by many within the 13 tribes of the Yuin Nation. It was the dominant tongue of the Walbunga people of the Broulee region and the Brindja Yuin people of Moruya. The choir emerged as a mechanism to revitalise language through song, following a unique pedagogy established by Dr Lou Bennett AM.

Join women from the choir as they discuss their project and the relationships between language, culture and place.

Associate Professor Pauline Jones is a researcher and teacher educator in the School of Education at the University of Wollongong. She is passionate about the role of language and literacy in climate change education and the role of books and children’s literature as powerful sources of information for young people. She will introduce key texts and some of the debates about how to (or even whether to) address climate change with children.

When: 15 January 2023, 2 to 4pm
Where: Art Museum, Bundanon
More information

Siteworks Laboratorium Talks: Sunday 29 January 2023

Speakers: Kate Scardifield with Distinguished Professor Peter Ralph, Dr Beth Mott, Janet Laurence, Jedda Lemmon, Michael Andrews and Mick Delmenico.

Part of Sydney Festival 2023.

Kate Scardifield has a research-driven and experimental practice traversing textiles, sculpture, installation and video. Her current projects are investigating bio-based materials for carbon capture and storage, and working with textiles as propositional instruments for navigation, transmission, and communication. Scardifield is a Senior Lecturer and Co-Director of the Material Ecologies Design Lab at the University of Technology Sydney.

Scardifield will be speaking with Distinguished Professor Peter Ralph, an internationally respected academic and research leader in the fields of algal biotechnology. He works with a wide range of start-ups, SMEs, not-for-profits, NGOs, and multi-nations to deliver a sustainable circular bioeconomy.

Dr Beth Mott is an ecologist and Threatened Species Officer currently working for the Saving Our Species Program of NSW Government. Dr Mott works on forest recovery and habitat building for endangered rainforests and loves to find ways in which nature and human endeavours can enmesh, to create excellent results for biodiversity as a whole.

Dr Mott will speak on the importance of the dynamic interface between urban and bushland areas and how we can protect this to invite threatened birds like Glossy Black-Cockatoos and Powerful Owls to live amongst us.

Janet Laurence’s work occupies the liminal zones or meeting places of art, science, imagination and memory. Profoundly aware of the interconnection of all life forms, Laurence often produces work in response to specific sites or environments using a diverse range of materials. Alchemical transformation, history and perception are underlying themes in her exhibition work.

Laurence will discuss meteorological research conducted in Antarctica, where the traditional and multifaceted observations of weather are communicated to the whole planet.

Jedda Lemmon is a flora ecologist with diverse experience in threatened species conservation, flora survey and monitoring, vegetation classification and mapping, and restoration. She is passionate about learning directly from field observations and will share how observing a species response to some recent extreme weather events can extend our knowledge and capacity to better understand and manage threatened plants.

Michael Andrews, Bundanon’s Natural Resources Manager, will discuss Bundanon’s Landcare initiatives to increase biodiversity, capture carbon and reconnect native habitat on the Shoalhaven River. This work, particularly unique for a cultural organisation, demonstrates the leadership role the arts can play in foregrounding the importance of protecting the environment for future generations.

Mick Delmenico has been managing bushland landscapes for over two decades. As Landcare Australia’s NSW Environment Project Officer, he has been responsible for the planning, implementation and management of extensive revegetation projects across the state.  His work at Bundanon over the past decade has overseen the establishment and maintenance of over 70 hectares of forest.

When: 29 January 2023, 2 to 4pm
Where: Art Museum, Bundanon
More information

Siteworks Laboratorium Talks: Sunday 26 February 2022

Art Programme with Naomi Eller and Steven Rhall, Dr Michelle Dawson, Uncle Noel Butler and Fernando do Campo.

This talk, led by Art Programme’s Jan Bryant with Naomi Eller and Steven Rhall will explore the ideas behind their ephemeral interventions into the Bundanon landscape. The talk is the final presentation in a short course designed to consider the intersection between contemporary art and the latest scholarship on the philosophy of plant life, climate change and Indigenous thinking/methodologies.

Jan Bryant is a writer and manager of Art Programme, an anti-institutional art organisation set up by artists, filmmakers, writers and curators to generate discussions, projects and publications.

Steven Rhall is a post-conceptual artist operating from a First Nation, white-passing, queer, cis male positionality, geographically located on neighbouring Woiwurrung and Wathaurung lands.

Naomi Eller is an artist who works predominantly in ceramics, making sculpture inspired by nature, myth and the human condition.

Dr Michelle Dawson is a wildlife ecologist with research interests in the population ecology of both over‑abundant and threatened species, and specifically managing the impact of introduced herbivores. Her work currently focusses on supporting private land managers to sustainably manage natural assets.

Uncle Noel Butler is a Budawang Elder of the Yuin Nation, South Coast NSW. A qualified teacher and mentor, he has been working as a cultural educator for over 30 years. Uncle Noel’s interactive lessons include walks, camps and cook-ups, and are inclusive events for all Australians who have a desire to learn about traditional Aboriginal Cultures. Uncle Noel is an accomplished speaker who delivers his knowledge with passion and urgency.

Uncle Noel will be speaking about the Bugia Nawway Gabun Buridja artist residency that brought together Local Music and experimental music communities from around Australia.

Fernando do Campo is an artist currently based in Sydney where he lectures at UNSW Art & Design. do Campo’s practice is interested in the animals carried by history and the histories carried by animals. He has presented solo exhibitions in Australia, the USA and in group exhibitions internationally. Recent projects have used practices of birdwatching, curatorial methodology, painting, fiction and post-humanist writing to examine the documented and undocumented histories of introduced species in the Global South.

do Campo will be discussing his participatory project Follow the pink ribbon, developed for Siteworks 2022.

When: 26 February 2023, 2 to 4pm
Where: Art Museum, Bundanon
More information

Bundanon Siteworks 2022: From a deep valley is supported by Inspiring Australia NSW.

IMAGE CREDIT: Bundanon. Photo: Zan Wimberley