Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ceramics at Arthur Boyd's Bundanon

There are some wonderful opportunities to look at Arthur Boyd's ceramic sculpture at Bundanon, the studio and homestead on the Shoalhaven River that he bequeathed to the nation. I went to the Degas exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra during the Christmas break but was even more taken with the number of ceramic pieces now on display (including a work by one of my Gymea TAFE teachers, Lynda Draper) - and two large Boyd sculptural pieces in the revamped Australia section upstairs. Inspired, I travelled out to the Bundanon Trust property to find out more. It's well worth the bumpy drive 20 odd kilometres from Nowra (which is about 2 hours south of Sydney). The beautiful 1866 sandstone homestead building includes an impressive collection of Boyd's functional pieces made at the family pottery Murrumbeena, the sculptures of the mid 1950s and pieces he had made by potter David Blackall during the 1980s, then painted himself. The most I could glean about the large sculptural pieces at the NGA and at Bundanoon was that during the mid 1950s: "Arthur created a series of 18 ceramic sculptures, nine of religious theme and nine secular, all dealing with the theme of metamorphosis, transformation and change". There are also pottery ramkins from the Martin Boyd pottery and works by his brother David. It's astonishing that so little has been written about Arthur Boyd's ceramic work. Bundanon's website is: www.bundanon.com.au
The trust also runs artist residencies and special concerts.

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