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Rare opportunity to create regional site-specific work

Brooke Boland

Bundanon Trust wants your proposals. They are after new work that responds to the site. But are your ideas small enough?
Rare opportunity to create regional site-specific work

Hide by Barbara Campbell, Siteworks 2017. Photo by Julie Ryan. 

Siteworks is an annual event at Bundanon Trust, located on the South Coast of NSW on the Shoalhaven River near Nowra. The festival-like format brings together scientists, artists, and thinkers for one day in September to celebrate all that resonates with the site.

As the name implies, Siteworks captures and reflects on the complex cultural, historical and natural environment on the former Boyd estate.  

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Artist Barbara Campbell has presented work regularly for Siteworks over the years. ‘Bundanon itself is a very particular place — and by Bundanon I mean the combination of properties. As an artist, to be able to go back to a non-urban environment to work over a number of years, that’s a special kind of privilege,’ she said.

‘That is probably truer for city-based artists who are not often able to have that relationship with a non-urban environment.’

Bundanon Trust is now calling for proposals from artists interested in the microscopic and the very small, fitting with the 2018 theme, MICRO. 

Chief Programs Officer John Baylis said this year’s theme evolved from an interest in microbial life. ‘There has been a lot of literature about microbes in the last decade as scientists have begun to understand how important microbial life is to human existence.’ 

But if bacteria aren’t your thing, you can explore other thematic resonances, such as ideas around scale and size, small models or worlds, shrinking things down and examining things in miniature.

‘We started with the microbes and then expanded out to start thinking about all things very small,’ said Baylis. 

Siteworks 2017 - The Birds & the Bees from Bundanon Trust on Vimeo.

Advice for your proposal

All art forms and practices are welcome and proposals close Friday 29 March. Ideas developed in partnership with scientists are particularly encouraged. But all proposals must respond to the site and theme.

‘If it is possible to visit the site beforehand, do so. If not, call me and I can talk you through the site,’ advised Baylis.

‘We’re interested in work that has a relationship to the place and is aware of where it is. Works which were conceived solely for a gallery or theatre are less likely to work. We have gardens, we have hills, we have the lake, we have forests, we have heritage architecture and agricultural structures. Artists who want to work in those kinds of environments – that’s who we want.’

View call out here

Because the site is central to the works created, Campbell advises interested artists to also build flexibility into their concept. 

‘Don’t have too rigid an idea before you get there. Allow for things to develop when you’re there,’ she said.

‘It is a very stimulating environment. It allows for all kinds of unexpected relationships of thought and human interaction to take place.’ 

To find out more, visit bundanon.com.au/siteworks/open-call-to-artists/

About the author

Brooke Boland is a Melbourne-based freelance writer.

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