The Artworks included Rosemary Laing’s works in the Homestead’s upstairs gallery, Janet Laurence’s Treelines Track, a planted artwork tracing the environmental history of Bundanon, as well as works by Nigel Helyer, Starrs & Cmielewski, Stalker Theatre, De Quincey Co and Embodied Media. What most had in common is that they drew their inspiration from the Bundanon site itself.
Janet Laurence conducts a group around the newly planted Treelines Track. The project will develop over the next two years as further plantings take place.
Tree Lines Track tells stories and celebrates trees. The walking path reveals the different ways trees exist between the natural world, settler culture and the contemporary environmental approach to landscape. Stones placed with trees along the track will create stopping points. They are scripted with varying texts, fragments of poems and prose written either at Bundanon or about its landscape.
Beginning at the ruin of the original farmhouse and winding down through the old forest the path follows along the edge of the lagoon and then swoops across an open paddock towards the Bundanon Homestead. The walk will then reveal the dramatic transformation of lower river flats resulting from the Trust’s Living Landscape bush regeration project. The walk continues along a ridge, down to the shores of the Shoalhaven River and back up past the Wattles before ending back at the main house. A temporary, interpretive, installation by the artist will be on show in the Single Mans’ Hut in late 2014.
Tree Lines Track has been created in partnership with Landcare Australia and is a legacy project to mark the transformation of Bundanon by the Living Landscape initiative which to date has seen over 209 acres of Lantana removed and around 42,000 trees planted. Bundanon is particularly indebted to Dr Shane Norrish, Farming and Major Projects Director, Landcare Australia, for his expertise and commitment to this project.
Black Nectar is a site-specific light & sound installation that asks audiences to take slow, sensory walks through the inky-blackness of Bundanon’s forests at night, charting personal courses through seasons of change, animality and imagination – far beyond the blinding lights and howling tones of our contemporary existence.
Gathering during a time Europeans once named as ‘spring’, audiences will leave the comfy lights and sounds of Bundanon’s homestead area, to take powerful, personal, silent journeys into the long darks of night, heading ultimately towards the place of ‘Black Nectar’. This most unusual of walks begins with impending darkness, and yet ultimately ends with the faintest, sweetest of glimmers – an en-lightening, re-sounding of our seasonal futures?
Black Nectar involves a collaboration with the ‘Earth Futures Leaders Lab’ and with Australia’s foremost expert on the Grey Headed Flying Fox, behavioural ecologist Dr Peggy Eby (who is on site). As part of her national survey of seasonal vegetation patterns, Peggy identified Bundanon as short term but critical habitat for the nomadic Grey Headed Flying Fox that come to feast on the Eucalypt nectar, and thereby pollinate our native forests.
Keith Armstrong (co-director) has specialised for eighteen years in collaborative, hybrid, new media works with an emphasis on innovative performance forms, site-specific electronic arts, networked interactive installations, alternative interfaces, public arts practices and art-science collaborations. His artworks have been shown and profiled extensively both in Australia and overseas including the Prix Ars Electronica, Austria, 2008 Olympics Cultural Festival, ICA London, ZKM Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany, and Sydney Powerhouse Museum for ISEA 2013 Sydney.
Lawrence English (co-director) is media artist, composer and curator based in Australia. Working across an eclectic array of aesthetic investigations, English’s work prompts questions of field, perception and memory. He utilises a variety of approaches including sound, installation, projection and polymedia objects to create works that meditate on subtle transformations of space and ask audiences to consider that which might sit at the edge of or beyond their perception. His pieces have been presented in Europe, the UK and Japan, as well as in the USA, NZ and Australia.
Dr Peggy Eby is a behavioural ecologist whose primary research interest is interactions between nectar- and fruit-feeding flying-foxes and their forest and woodland habitats. For over 25 years she has explored the responses of flying-foxes to complex patterns of nectar flow using satellite- and radio-telemetry studies, detailed observational work and range-wide surveys. She holds an adjunct position at the University of New South Wales, runs a private consultancy business and holds formal and informal advisory positions with various government agencies. A video of her talk is linked below.
Heidi Millington (consulting ecologist/artist); her practice weaves across science, sound and sustainability. She has most recently been mapping and prioritising the biodiversity value of estuarine and freshwater ecosystems for the Queensland Government. Believing that art and science are necessary for a full life and together offer a pathway to protecting our planet’s fragile ecosystems, she is also a sound artist, music producer, vocalist and an award-nominated composer.
Luke Lickfold is a sound designer, control programmer and interactive systems designer whose recent work has focused on exploring fresh and unique approaches to interactive system design and sound spatialisation. His work embraces collaboration, with a strong emphasis on the dynamic integration of artistic elements including sound, visuals, robotics, lighting, performance and audience participation. Recent Key Works (with Keith Armstrong/Lawrence English) include Light of Extinction, Dark Cartographies and Nightrage /Nightfall.
This project has been kindly assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, QUT Creative Industries and the Bundanon Residency Program. Keith Armstrong is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts.
Mountain: In awakening the spirits within the mountain, I awaken my spirit, my ancestry and lineage, stretching from the terrestrial to the celestial and into the cosmos. In the Maori world, Whakapapa is a rationale used to define the origins of things, of people, of spirit. It’s what defines us.- Victoria Hunt
We grapple with two defining elements of Bundanon, mountain and water relative to the wider context that is embedded in deep ecological concerns. Each of the two performers brings their own highly personal investigation to this performance whilst the music is a reflection on Earth Law.
De Quincey & Co is one of Australia’s most innovative and inspiring dance performance companies, creating work at the intersection of dance, visual arts, theatre, music and performance. Led by Artistic Director Tess de Quincey, the company creates works of shifting scales for specific spaces – from a black box studio to a desert riverbed. De Quincey Co builds on several decades of work by de Quincey in Europe, Japan, India and Australia. The company’s practice is based in BodyWeather, a contemporary dance training founded in Japan, which melds Asian and Western practices and philosophy. BodyWeather articulates the climates of our bodies and our minds – proposing a ‘weather of being’ to negotiate change and to explore our world. Recent works include Inner Garden at Callan Park, Box of Birds at Performance Space and Moondance currently touring in the UK and Brazil.
Water: Tracing water through its different forms and states, from mist to precipitation, from evaporation to solidity, from expansion to contraction, pulling and pulled by the moon.- Peter Fraser
Tess de Quincey is a choreographer and dancer who has worked extensively in Europe, Japan, India and Australia as a performer, teacher and director. She was a dancer with Min Tanakaand his Mai-Juku Performance Co in Japan from 1985 to 1991. The BODYWEATHERphilosophy and methodology, founded by Min and his company, is the major influence in her artistic process. Tess has wide-ranging experience in teaching, directing and producing interdisciplinary workshops, exchanges and performance productions. From 1988 Tess has produced solo works, most notably Movement on the Edge 1988-89, Another Dust 1989-92,is and is.2 1994-95, and Nerve 9 which toured extensively in Europe and Australia 2001-05 and was chosen to represent Australia in the Biennale de Danse in Paris 2002.
Amanda Stewart is a poet, author and vocal artist. Much of her work is informed by ideas from linguistics, philosophy and science. She has created a diverse range of publications, performances, film and radio works, locally and internationally, working in literature, music, broadcasting, theatre, dance and new media environments. She also worked full time as a producer/presenter at ABC Radio in Sydney for many years. Her book and CD set of selected poems, I/T, won the Anne Elder Poetry PrizeVictoria Hunt (performer - Mountain)
Victoria Hunt is an Australian-born artist of mixed descent, Tarawhai Te Arawa, Rongowhakaata, English and Irish. She is a founding dancer of De Quincey Co’s Bodyweather Ensemble, The Weather Exchange, performing in over 40 company productions and has worked with MAU Dance Company Aotearoa NZ, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom. Victoria was part of Marrugeku and Critical Path’s Indigenous Choreographic Laboratories 2009/11. These experiences have been formative in investigating concepts of Maori creativity and contemporary Indigenous politics. In 2012 her solo self-devised dance work Copper Promises premiered at Performance Space (Sydney) and The Place (London) in 2013, which lead to a Helpmann nomination for Best Female Dancer.
Katja Handt is a set and costume designer, maker and all-round artist and over the years has worked on a wide range of projects from film, theatre and live performance to conceptual art both in Australia and overseas. For De Quincey Co she designed costumes on recent productions BOX OF BIRDS and INNER GARDEN and now for MOUNTAIN & WATER at Bundanon.
Jim Denley (wind instruments) feels that if there is to be a relevant new music for our time/space it must start with a deep listening to the world – not imposing anthropocentric constructions on it. To this end he's emphasized spontaneity, site-specific work and collaboration in his work - he makes no distinctions between his roles as instrumentalist, improviser and composer.
Peter Fraser has 20 years experience as a performer in dance, physical theatre and site-specific performance. He has been an ongoing member of De Quincey Co ensemble since its inception, and this work has spanned site investigation and performances in the salt-pans and dry river beds of Lake Mungo (1992) and Alice Springs (1999, 2005), outdoors at Cook and Phillip Park, Sydney (2011) to black box works that range from Square of Infinity (2000) and FIVE Short Solos (2005) to Triptych (2008) and Run (2009). He is currently completing a Research MA, by performance, at Monash University and is a coordinator of the Environmental Performance Authority performance group, Melbourne.
This project was originally supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW
BioPods is a proof of concept prototype for a series of site-specific, micro-architectural sculptures designed to facilitate active listening in the natural environment and to create an aggregated narrative of aural experience. It will provide a capsule for an overnight acoustic vigil for a single person and will be positioned in a sonically significant site on the Bundanon property to provide a unique situation that combines sculptural, architectural and acoustic experiences. Participants will be invited to record their sonic surroundings and a personal digital narrative as a contribution to an ongoing digital archive - a type of ship's log. Imagine a meditation cell, an escape pod, a re-entry capsule, an Ark (which may float if it rains hard) in which an overnight acoustic reverie can be recorded by the pod’s user-friendly, on-board digital audio system.
Dr Nigel Helyer is an internationally prominent sculptor and sound artist whose interdisciplinary practice combines art, science and ecology to embrace our social, cultural and physical environments. He brings these concerns together in poetic art projects that prompt the community to engage with their cultural histories, identity and sense of place; inviting us to examine the abstract conditions of our world and our complex relationships to it.
A Stalker Theatre and UTS Creativity & Cognition Studio co-production
Taking its inspiration from the myriad of organisms that inhabit the Bundanon site, Creature works with 3D models of some of these life forms and creates an interactive play space for individual audience members. Using the Bundanon homestead wall as its projection surface, Creature invites you to transform your identity, find your organic rhythm and imagine what your inner creature might look like. Artists from Stalker Theatre and the University of Technology’s (UTS) Creativity & Cognition Studios in Sydney have developedCreature. Stalker and UTS have been in collaboration on two recent performance works Encoded and Pixel Mountain and are currently developing a new range of interactive technologies for live performance.
Rollerchimp (aka Andrew Bluff) is an emerging new media interaction artist with 15 years of software development experience in the creative media industry. Seamlessly blending software engineering, sound design and interactive technology, Andrew is dedicated to exploring the new frontiers of technology based music and digital media. Andrew is currently undertaking doctorate studies to research interactive systems for the augmentation of live performance at the University of Technology, Sydney.
David Clarkson co-founded Stalker Theatre in Sydney in 1988. He has had over 30 years’ experience as a physical performer, devisor, director and producer. His work has varied between solo performances, professional ensemble work, large and small scale community outreach projects and Olympic Opening Ceremonies. In 2007 he was awarded the Rex Cramphorn Scholarship, NSW’s principal theatre award, for his outstanding lifelong commitment to innovative theatre. He has undertaken a number of international residences specializing in cross-cultural collaborations. His most recent works for Stalker include Red, MirrorMirror, Encoded and Pixel Mountain.
Andrew Johnston is a researcher, interaction/software designer and musician living in Sydney. As a musician he has performed professionally with several Australian symphony orchestras, musicals and a number of other ensembles. His research focuses on the design of systems that support experimental, exploratory approaches to live performance, and the experiences of the artists who use them. In his creative practice he explores interaction techniques which use simulated physical systems as mediators between gesture, acoustic sounds and computer generated sound and visuals. Andrew currently holds the position of Senior Lecturer in the School of Software at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Danielle Bluff is a Sydney-based visual artist with many years’ experience in the design industry. Incorporating collage, photography, handmade paper and miniature objects, her work currently centres around exploring the nature of information exchange. She sees our relationship to information as a complex entanglement to be located, deciphered and translated. Stemming from this is an interest in manipulating pattern, surface and various levels of viewer/participant interactivity.
Stalker Theatre is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the NSW Government through Arts NSW. The Creativity & Cognition Studios is part of the University of Technology Sydney, School of Software.
… it looks as if a flood of newsprint has inundated the bush, as if the river runs media instead of water and the daily noise of commerce has deposited itself over nature like a fibrous silt that is destined to rot.- Robert Nelson, The Age 30 April 2014.
Shot on location at Bundanon between May and July 2013 by artist Rosemary Laing, The Paper shows the Bundanon landscape deeply carpeted in newspaper.
The Paper is on show in Bundanon Homestead’s Upstairs Gallery.
Rosemary Laing is a Sydney-based artist. Her projects are most often created in culturally resonant locations, wherein she has undertaken interventions in situ or performance work. A monograph, written by Abigail Solomon-Godeau has been published by Prestel New York: Piper Press Sydney (2012). Over the past decades, she has presented work in numerous museums worldwide. Laing has presented solo exhibitions at several museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Kunsthallen Brandts Klædefabrik, Odense; Domus Artium 2002, Salamanca; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; and National Museum of Art, Osaka. She has participated in several international biennials, including the Biennale of Sydney (2008), Venice Biennale (2007), Busan Biennale (2004), and Istanbul Biennial (1995). Rosemary Laing is represented by Tolarno Galleries in Melbourne and Galerie Lelong in New York.
The normalisation of drone warfare and drone surveillance is becoming a concern to all. But drones can have other uses. Starrs & Cmielewski use them to capture still and moving images of Australian landscapes. They also used a drone to record dancer Alison Plevey’s site-responsive performances in different locations at Bundanon. In response to the persistently intrusive drone, she exhibits a range of different emotions, including curiosity, agitation, engagement and resignation. The result is a video artwork that encourages contemplation about our relationship to nature and technology.
Leon Cmielewski and Josephine Starrs are Sydney-based artists whose long-term collaboration has produced media art installations situated at the juncture of cinema, information visualisation and sublime landscape. Their media art installation Incompatible Elements explores new ways of representing the relationship between nature and culture by embedding poetic texts into animated satellite images of landscapes and waterways in crisis in the Asia/Pacific region. Incompatible Elements has been shown several times in Australia and overseas Including the Auckland Arts Festival in 2011 and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, 2012 and most recently in the Malvides Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2013.
Siteworks 2014 ConversationStarrs & Cmielewski often use play as a strategy for engaging with the social and political contradictions inherent in contemporary life. Their installation, chapel of rubber was created for the Cementa, Kandos NSW in2013. It was installed in the old nunnery chapel as a shrine to the street machine burnouts that take place in Kandos every January on the Australia Day weekend. Chapel of rubber was selected as a finalist in the Blake Prize 2013. Starrs is currently honorary Senior Lecturer in Film and Digital Art, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and Cmielewski is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney.
Alison Plevey graduated from WAAPA with a first class honours degree, Bachelor of Arts - Dance, in 2009. As a solo artist she is interested in the interface of movement with non-traditional theatre spaces and environments and the engagement of audiences via a connection to place. At Short + Sweet Dance Festival 2013 she was awarded Most Outstanding Choreography and Best Female Dancer for her solo work 'Lachlan'. Alison is committed to dance education working closely with QL2 Dance as a tutor and education officer and as movement tutor for Canberra Youth Theatre.
VIDEO OF DANCING WITH DRONES PERFORMANCE
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Keith Armstrong, Lawrence English, Luke Lickfold, Josephine Starrs, Leon Cmielewski, Alison Plevey, Janet Laurence, Tess de Quincey, Victoria Hunt, Peter Fraser, Nigel Helyer, Rosemary Laing, David Clarkson, Andrew Bluff, Andrew Johnston, Nigel Kellaway, Annette Tesoriero, Cathie Travers.