New South Wales

Arthur Boyd and Bundanon Estate Part 1

LINKS to other pages in the New South Wales website and the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

Home Page
1 : Stanwell
2 : Milton
3 : Granite Falls and George Boyd Lookout
4 : Walter Hood Bay
5 : Shoalwater River and Yalwal Valley
6 : Bateman's Bay and Nelligen
7 : Mogood Mountain and Shallow Crossing
8 : Ulladulla
9 : Bundanon and Arthur Boyd
10 : Journey's End and Guest Book
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The information that follows was obtained from the Wikipedia free encyclopaedia website:

Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd AC OBE (20 July 1920 – 24 April 1999) was a member of the prominent Boyd artistic dynasty in Australia, with many relatives being painters, sculptors, architects or other arts professionals. His sister Mary Boyd married John Perceval, and later Sidney Nolan. His wife Yvonne Boyd née Lennie, and daughter Polly are also painters.

Boyd was born at Murrumbeena, Victoria. He had no formal training in painting and drawing. However he studied with his grandfather Arthur Merric Boyd, the New Zealand born landscape painter. Boyd is best known for his experimental and sometimes complex painting of figures, and impressionist, pastoral landscapes.

His early paintings were portraits and of Port Phillip Bay created while he was an adolescent, living in the suburbs of Melbourne. He moved to the inner city where he was influenced by his contact with European refugees. Reflecting this move in the late 1930s, his work moved into a distinct period of depictions of fanciful characters in urban settings.

He produced several series of works, including a collection of 15 biblical paintings based on the teaching of his mother, Doris Boyd née Gough. Later he produced a tempera series about large areas of sky and land, called the Wimmera series. In the 1940s he was a member of the Angry Penguins artistic and literary group. His best-known work is perhaps his Half caste bride series in the 1950s, which he did based on his experiences of having direct contact with Aborigines in Alice Springs in 1951. He represented Australia with Arthur Streeton at the Venice Biennale in 1958. He joined the Antipodeans Group in the Whitechapel gallery.

Avoiding the social issues raised in works such as Half Cast Child and feeling drawn to European styles of painting, Boyd moved permanently to Hampstead, London in 1960. The same year he held his first London exhibition. While here, Boyd entered another distinct period with his works themed around the idea of metamorphasis.

He started another well known series of works, Nebuchadnezzar in 1966. This series was a statement of the human condition and is often considered to be his most beautiful. Boyd returned to Australia in 1971. In 1978 he bought several properties and settled permanently at Bundanon on the Shoalhaven River. He donated this 1100 hectare property to the people of Australia in 1993. His creations now focused on the primeval natural settings found in the Australian bush and in later years he explored the interplay between human land use and natural wilderness. Boyd was enthralled by his position near the river and by the scale and moods of the valley landscape.

In 1975 he presented several thousand works to the National Gallery of Australia. In 1979, he was honoured with the Order of Australia. He represented Australia at the Venice Biennale again in May 2000; his painting Dreaming Bridegroom I (1957) sold for $957,000. Another painting of the Bride series, Mourning Bride I (1958) has sold for $833,000.

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Bundanon was the home of the Arthur Boyd. It was donated to the people of Australia in 1993 by the artist, who believed "you can't own a landscape" and wanted to share the place that inspired him so much, along with the adjoining property which had been owned by the artist, Sidney Nolan, with everyone.

Under the control of the Bundanon Trust the property is open to the public on the first Sunday of each month. It also contains an educational centre and part of the property has been set up as a constantly evolving studio space for artists and writers. There are currently four studios with attached residences and a writers cottage which are offered meritoriously to a select group of talented individuals from all over the world.

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The grounds of the Bundanon property (right and below)

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Arthur Boyd's studio is situated behind the house (right) and the 'pulpit rock' which is featured in a number of his paintings is visible across the Shoal Haven river from Bundanon (below)

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