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Federal Government funding of Bundanon Trust secures Australian artist’s vision

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

The Australian Government has granted the Bundanon Trust $22 million to secure Australian artist, Arthur Boyd’s vision for Bundanon as a centre for creative arts and education. Gifted to the Australian people in 1993 by Arthur and Yvonne Boyd the Bundanon property is located on 1,100 hectares of bush and park land overlooking the Shoalhaven River, near Nowra.

The company’s mission is to operate the property (which includes the Bundanon Homestead site and the Riversdale site) as a centre for creative arts and education, to support scientific research and to maintain a working farm.

Bundanon’s residency program for artists, writers, musicians, dancers, performers and scholars, and its creative arts programs for children, are considered an investment in Australia’s future. 

Bundanon Trust Chief Executive Deborah Ely said: “This funding will see Arthur Boyd’s vision for Bundanon finally realised. It was Boyd’s desire for his former residence, art collection and the stunning landscape of Bundanon to be shared with as many people as possible. Bundanon Trust have worked for many years towards securing a home for the nationally significant art collection in their care, and to expand the in-demand creative art education programs for students which is so central to the Trust’s work.”

“We are overwhelmed by the opportunity this funding allows. The Trust will at last be able to showcase its unique collection, on the site where much of it was created. The Riversdale property can now be opened up to the public throughout the week enabling national and international visitors to the region to experience outstanding Australian art and architecture in a pristine bush setting,” added Ely.

Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mitch Fifield said: “This announcement is great news for the region. This funding will see Arthur and Yvonne Boyd's vision of a unique cultural asset for the nation further developed through the creation of a dedicated gallery showcasing and safeguarding the priceless Bundanon collection.” 

Bundanon Trust’s new development at Riversdale, designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects, will feature a light-filled contemporary art gallery and storage component, submerged into the landscape, designed to display and house the Bundanon Trust’s $43 million art collection.

This new subterranean contemporary gallery will house 3,800 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, and contemporary works by artists such as Euan Macleod and Rosemary Laing. 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.
 
The scheme 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 learning facilities will be housed within a new 140-metre-long by 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 public cafe.

The realisation of the Masterplan for Riversdale will not only see a financially and environmentally sustainable Bundanon Trust it will also bring great economic and employment benefits to the region. Shoalhaven City Council’s Regional Economic Modelling indicates that the development will create 69 on-going jobs and bring an additional $10million in revenue annually to the Shoalhaven.

Bundanon Trust is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Communication and including the University of Wollongong, the Borland Bequest, Landcare Australia, the Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW and a range of other public and private bodies.

All images courtesy of Kerstin Thompson Architects.

Related Articles

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30th March 2019 - Federal government announces $30 million commitment for contemporary music

26th March 2019 - Federal Government to input $129 million to Adelaide’s cultural economy

22nd January 2019 - Australia’s cultural attractions combine to launch new Global Tourism Initiative

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

6th October 2016 - Federal Government to restore Australia Council funding?

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

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