The Land As Art

24/06/2019

As part of their Preliminary Higher School Certificate studies Year 11 Visual Arts students take part in a three-day residency at the Bundanon Trust Estate on the NSW South Coast. The estate is a collection of properties gifted to the Nation by well-known Australian artists Arthur and Yvonne Boyd. Arthur Boyd was an internationally recognised painter and sculptor, his work ranged in style from Impressionist landscapes to Expressionist representations of the figure. Boyd communicates to his audiences through symbolism and gestural representation, drawing the viewer into a narrative of power and wonder.

Each year, the residency is offered to Year 11 Visual Arts students as a key curriculum experience for their unit of study, The Land as Art. The experience is foundational to expanding student understanding of their own art practice and offers an insight into the practice of one of Australia’s best-known artists. The experience is something that cannot be recreated in the traditional classroom.

Students are given the opportunity to visit Boyd’s studio, a space still laid out as if the he was about to walk in and pick up his paint brush. They are shown through his homestead and allowed to sit in Boyd’s lounge room, read the titles of books stacked on his bookshelf, observe family trinkets carefully placed in glass cupboards and stand on his veranda looking out onto the vast expanse of the property. This offers a glimpse into the personal and physical world that formed such a powerful influence on Boyd and his work.

Students also take part in a range of educational artmaking workshops, extending their skills and exploration of art materials. They are encouraged to document and record their experiences within the environment through photography, observational drawing and plein-air painting. The results of the workshops and visual anecdotes of their experience feed into source material for the unit of work and artmaking assessment task. Students extend and develop their work from Bundanon into a Body of Work that visually communicates their interaction with landscape.