Bundanon’s newly opened Art Gallery is host to its 30th anniversary exhibition Fantastic Forms, with three artists paying homage to an Australian great.
On 1,000 acres of peaceful bushland a little way inland from Nowra and overlooking the winding Shoalhaven river, is Bundanon. The name means “deep valley” in the local Dharawal language.
Opening image: Group of three statues Red Stocking and Dancer, Stephen Benwell. Image: Tim Gresham.
The Boyd legacy
Renowned Australian painter Arthur Boyd and his wife Yvonne bought the property in 1979, where he built a studio and painted many large canvases of the area. In 1993, the couple gifted their home and an extensive collection of artwork – including 1,448 works by Arthur Boyd as well as his contemporaries Sidney Nolan, John Perceval, Joy Hester and Charles Blackman – to the Australian people.
Now, after a $36 million renovation, the site has reopened to feature a stunning subterranean Art Museum. Embedded in the landscape, it houses an eclectic program of contemporary exhibitions and unique cultural experiences, while fostering an appreciation for both art and the natural landscape.
Fantastic Forms at Bundanon
To celebrate its 30-year milestone, Bundanon has announced a new exhibition Fantastic Forms. Curated by Boe-Lin Bastian and Sophie O’Brien, the exhibition is colourful, abundant and joyful, featuring drawings, ceramics, sculpture and animation.
The starting point for the exhibition was Bundanon’s vast collection of drawings and ceramics by artist Merric Boyd, Arthur Boyd’s father. His drawings of people, animals and rural scenes are colourful and organic, celebrating creativity, imagination and artistic practice as part of everyday life.
Fantastic Forms brings new commissions by three contemporary Australian artists into conversation with Boyd’s work.
Stephen Benwell, one of Australia’s most distinguished ceramicists with a career spanning four decades, presents a series of fragmented ceramic figures subtly illustrating forlorn images of the male nude that challenge classical traditions of beauty and masculinity.
Singaporean-Australian sculptor Nabilah Nordin has created three new large-scale bronze sculptures, which convey her practice of creating playful, visceral and human-like objects which deliberately subvert traditional sculptural techniques.
Emerging Bundjalung artist Rubyrose Bancroft will be showcasing her mythical claymation videos.
With these three new commissions, this exhibition showcases the important and ongoing connection between the Boyd legacy and the work of artists practicing today.
Fantastic Forms is open at Bundanon Art Gallery from 1 April–18 June 2023.
For more arts and cultural events in NSW, check out our top picks for the 2023 Sydney Writers’ Festival.