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Breaking Ground Ceremony for new art gallery at Arthur Boyd’s Riversdale property

Breaking Ground Ceremony for new art gallery at Arthur Boyd’s Riversdale property
January 29, 2020

The first sod has been turned at the Bundanon Trust’s new $33 million art gallery at Arthur Boyd’s Riversdale property in the Shoalhaven region of NSW.

Seen as a boost for the area as it recovers from recent bushfires, when completed, in late 2021, the new gallery is expected to be a major tourism drawcard for the region.

At the heart of the Trust’s Masterplan, jointly funded by the Federal and NSW Governments is the building of an environmentally prepared gallery-of-the-future and safe storage facility, designed to display and house the Bundanon Trust’s $43 million art collection.

Commenting at today’s breaking ground ceremony, Bundanon Chair, Jennifer Bott stated “this momentous event follows the devastation of the south coast fires and I commend the Rural Fire Service and Bundanon staff for acting quickly to protect this national culturally important collection.

“The recent situation highlights more than ever the need for Bundanon to have an environmentally prepared purpose-built gallery to protect this national treasure. Today marks the beginning of a wonderful renewal project for the Shoalhaven that will attract national and international visitors to the region.

“To stand here at Bundanon and turn the first sod to celebrate day one of construction to build a wonderful new gallery and storage facility for Bundanon is a truly special moment. We extend our gratitude to the Commonwealth and NSW Governments and to all those donors and supporters who will enable us to fulfill this vision.

“Arthur Boyd’s extraordinary works live on as enduring inspiration for the many passionate and talented artists across regional NSW. This new facility housed on this famous landscape will pave the way for the Bundanon Trust’s revered collection to be presented for all visitors to enjoy.”

Designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects (KTA), a light-filled contemporary art gallery embedded in the landscape sits at the heart of unique property on the NSW south coast, gifted to the nation by renowned Australia artist Arthur Boyd and his wife Yvonne in 1993.

The new subterranean contemporary art gallery will house Bundanon Trust’s collection of some 4,000 items, featuring 1,300 works by Arthur Boyd together with Boyd’s contemporaries such as Sidney Nolan, John Perceval, Joy Hester and Charles Blackman. The Collection also includes etchings by Goya and Picasso as well as pieces by Brett Whiteley, contemporary works by Brook Andrew, Rosemary Laing, Euan Macleod and Polixeni Papapetrou. In addition, the Trust has an archive of artist books, scripts, compositions and working models related to artwork developed on the properties through the Artist in Residence program.

KTA’s Masterplan design for Riversdale also encompasses a world-class creative learning centre for school students, a contemporary visitor hub, accommodation and cafe. Sensitively embracing the existing landscape and its ecology, the design responds to current and future climatic conditions with inspiration drawn from rural Australia’s trestle flood bridges. The new facilities will be housed within a new 140-metre-long by a 9-metre-wide structure that at one end abuts the art gallery within the sloping hillside, continuing along to bridge an existing gully, and containing 34 bedrooms, teaching and dining space and a public cafe.

Also speaking at the sod turning event, Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher said the Bundanon Masterplan will allow the expansion of Bundanon’s artistic programming, which will be critically important as the region progresses with its recovery following the devastating bushfires experienced this summer.

He advised “the new facilities will allow Bundanon to open to the public five days a week and grow its program of concerts, events and regional arts engagement activities. It’s estimated the works will boost the local economy by $10 million annually, delivering more than 170 jobs to the Shoalhaven region during construction, and an additional 69 jobs on an ongoing basis.”

At the event, Minister Fletcher announced an additional $300,000 to bolster the resilience of the Bundanon site with the installation of an ember suppression system to protect Bundanon’s most significant heritage-listed buildings.

Images show concepts for the new gallery.

Related Articles

4th January 2020 - Surf Life Saving NSW responds to bushfire crisis

28th December 2019 - Tourists told to reconsider travel plans to bushfire affected NSW South Coast

19th December 2019 - Sapphire Coast tourism operators urge holidaymakers not to be deterred by bushfires

16th November 2019 - Shoalhaven Indoor Sports Centre officially opens

14th October 2019 - 200 solar panels installed on Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre rooftop

3rd April 2019 - Federal Government funding of Bundanon Trust secures Australian artist’s vision

11th September 2017 - Victorian Government approves Shepparton Art Museum development

27th June 2017 - Federal Government backs regional arts projects and touring exhibitions

6th June 2017 - Masterplan revealed for home of Australian artist Arthur Boyd

23rd November 2016 - Architect announced to deliver Bundanon Trust Masterplan for Arthur Boyd property

23rd June 2015 - Albury art museum to reimagine the concept of public art

27th November 2013 - Study reveals the impact of Public Art Museums

21st July 2012 - Vaughan calls for new contemporary art museum

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