Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Siteworks 2018: Micro (Little things mean a lot)

September 2018 was busy miniature-wise, as two weeks after my trip to Sydney to see Joshua Smith's Urban Decay exhibition I was off on a road trip to Bundanon Trust in Shoalhaven to be part of their annual Siteworks festival of art and science.
Flier for Siteworks 2018 at Bundanon Trust.
The theme for 2018 was Micro: Little things mean a lot and I felt quite boring in a lineup that included tiny dancing spiders made big, art inspired by microscopic images and conversations with scientists about molecular biology and soil health.

But the opportunity to visit both Bundanon (home of famous artist Arthur Boyd), and also not just visit, but sleep in, the Glenn Murcutt Boyd Education Centre at Riversdale was too good to pass up (especially when my home was becoming more and more overrun by piles of packing boxes for shift that I did not yet know quite when was happening...).

My friend and I arrived at Riversdale as evening set in to a welcome committee of wombats (those are the dots you can see on the lawn below), but didn't have time to explore as we were due at the Bundanon property (which is a 20-minute drive away) for dinner.

Woman standing at an open doorway looking over a lawn dotted with wombats that leads down to a river.
The next morning I got up bright and early to explore the building before we had to head back to Bundanon for a day at Siteworks.

It didn't disappoint. This is the main block:
Entrance terrace of the Boyd Education Centre from the hill above.
Front of the Boyd Education Centre main block from below.
A man sitting on the ledge along the front of the main block of the Boyd Education Centre in front of an open sliding door.
View from inside the main block of the Boyd Education Centre, showing one of the sliding door panels, and a man sitting in the sun on the ledge outside. 
View from inside the main block of the Boyd Education Centre, looking through the open sidling doors down to the river. In the doorway are sillouheted two men and a child.
which leads to the dormitory block, which is on two levels because of the slope of the hill:
 Outside view of th edormatory block of the Boyd Education Centre, from the lawn below,
Inside, the four-bed dorms can be split by a sliding door into two two-bed dorms (which is what we had). The front wall above one of the beds in each dorm has shutters that open out to the view...
View of a bed inside one of the dormatory rooms int he Boyd Education Centre dormatory block, showing how the shutters above the bed open up to the outside.
while the other had a framed Arthur Boyd print on the concrete wall above it (all rather posh for what is usually student accommodation, I thought, but liked the touch...) 
Someone asleep in a bed in the dormatory block o fthe Boyd Education Centre. Above the bed on the concrete wall is a framed Artur Boyd print.
The door to the dorm room leads straight onto an outside walkway, so if you opened that door and the shutters at the front you had a bush view in both directions. I took a video to show the set up:
Back over at Bundanon for the day, I managed to make time to duck into Arthur Boyd's studio for a bit of miniature inspiration before my 'conversation'.
Interior of Arhtur Boyd's studio at Bundanon Trust.
Also in conversation was artist Julian Oates, and Jenny Whiting, who curated Stories and Structures – New Connections, an exhibition of works informed by images of microscopic slides.
Three people seated on a stage. One is talking into a microphone, while the other two look on, one with micrphone poised to ask a question.
After the conversations were over I wandered over to the homestead to have a look at the exhibition in person.
Gallery view of art informed my microscope slides and the original slide images on a gallery wall.
 (On the top row, the artworks. On the bottom, the slides).

There were many other works and performances to explore, and another night to spend at the Boyd Education Centre.
View from inside the great room of the Boyd Education Centre looking out across the river and bush.
And on the way home we stopped off at Kangaroo Valley Woodcrafts so I could buy a miniature wooden pear to add to my collection:
Miniature wooden pear sitting on a copy of the book 'Siteworks: Field guide to Bundanon'.
I'd originally seen them 20 years ago on my first, and, until now only visit, but didn't have the cash to buy one then: so was very pleased that they still had them in stock for me to (finally!) buy...

(If you'd like to learn more about the Boyd Education Centre building at Riversdale, watch this series of videos of architect Glenn Murcutt touring the building...)

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