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Bundanon unveils Tales of Land & Sea: three distinct exhibitions explore storytelling, mythology, migration and diaspora alongside an expanded live program.

Shoalhaven, NSW: Over the weekend Bundanon unveiled its opening Season for 2024, Tales of Land & Sea, now open to the public until 16 June 2024, alongside an expanded live program. Three distinct projects are presented across the galleries of the Art Museum, exploring storytelling, mythological narratives, migration and the diasporic experience, by renowned contemporary artists Jumaadi, and Sancintya Mohini Simpson, as well as Arthur Boyd’s collaboration with printmaker Indra Deigan. Drawing from both personal narratives and Eastern mythologies, together these exhibitions touch on cross-generational experiences of migration and the movement of people and goods across the sea, as well as highlighting age-old themes of longing, displacement, cultural connection and belonging.

Renowned Indonesian-Australian artist Jumaadi presents a survey exhibition, titled ayang–ayang (or shadow-shadow). The exhibition spans a decade of works by the artist, as well as the presentation of new works created in residence at Bundanon, that draw on the tradition of storytelling through wayang kulit (shadow puppetry). Working across a range of mediums, including drawing, painting, installation and performance, Jumaadi’s practice is informed by personal experience as well as the political and aesthetic lineages of his homeland. Highlights include an intricate suite of large-scale paintings on cloth and works on buffalo hide. They are accompanied by a major new shadow-play video installation, drawing on pre- and post-colonial trade routes around the Indonesian archipelago, speculating upon the Chinese and Arabic wrecks which lie submerged beneath the waves. A selection of Javanese historical artefacts contextualises the exhibition, expanding on the techniques and mythologies that have influenced his practice.

Sancintya Mohini Simpson – a descendant of indentured labourers sent from India to work on colonial sugar plantations in South Africa – presents an immersive sculptural and sound installation created in collaboration with her sibling, sound artist Isha Ram Das. Titled par-parā / phus-phusā (to speak incessantly / to whisper), the exhibition reflects on colonial histories in South Asia and bonded labour associated with the sugarcane industry. This project forms part of an ongoing practice of reflection, addressing themes of intergenerational loss and healing.

Three tonnes of earth from the Bundanon site and sugarcane ash have been brought inside the gallery space and embedded with microphones and vessels (lota) lacquered with black pigment, creating an immersive soundscape and performance space. The exhibition also incorporates new works on paper, made in residency at Bundanon, featuring Kōlaṁ designs. Traditionally made from rice flour, Kōlaṁ designs are made by South Indian women and placed at the entryways to homes. An often unseen practice of women’s labour, the flour is renewed daily, feeding the bugs and birds, functioning in part as a circular system of regenerative care.

Titled Sangkuriang, the adjoining gallery sees an exhibition of rarely seen works from the Bundanon Collection by Arthur Boyd and West Javanese printmaker Indra Deigan. Boyd’s collagraphs and woodcuts are presented alongside four editions of a handmade artist’s book created collaboratively by Boyd and Deigan in 1993, inspired by the West Javanese legend, Sangkuriang, first documented in the 15th century. The artist’s book reflects Deigan’s Indonesian heritage as well as Boyd’s lifetime interest in mythology, and eagerness to develop skills in new methods of artmaking throughout his life. The book was designed, printed, and bound with the help of Tony Deigan at the Graphic Investigation Workshop, Canberra Institute of the Arts, Australian National University, in an edition of ten, three of which are part of Bundanon’s Collection.

Rachel Kent, CEO said: “Bundanon is delighted to present Tales of Land & Sea featuring two significant projects by celebrated contemporary artists Jumaadi and Sancintya Mohini Simpson, whom I have had the pleasure of developing long-standing professional relationships with over the years. These contemporary works are presented alongside a rare and significant work from the Bundanon Collection by Arthur Boyd in a collaboration with artist and printmaker Indra Deigan. Both Jumaadi and Simpson spent time in residence at Bundanon creating work for the exhibition – a unique aspect of Bundanon’s offering as a place for creativity and the realisation of new work. We are also thrilled to have launched our largest live program to date, which contextualises the exhibition, engaging local and visiting audiences in talks, workshops, and live performances”.

Alongside Tales of Land & Sea, Bundanon presents a significantly expanded live program featuring talks, workshops, concerts, and other live works. Presented alongside popular exhibition and walking tours of Bundanon, the live program highlights include:

Public talk with artist, teacher and master printmaker Tony Deigan

Public talk with Bundanon Collections Manager Jennifer Thompson, in the grounds of the Homestead, where Arthur Boyd lived and worked, will cover stories about the making of Sangkuriang in 1993, the same year the Boyds gifted Bundanon to the nation.

In this intimate premiere performance, dance and live music are interwoven by dancer/choreographer Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal and musician Ria Soemardjo. The work incorporates sculptural objects, sensual and a mesmerising live soundscape, contemplating themes of displacement and hope.

Artist Jumaadi will run a 2-hour workshop that explores drawing, paper cutting, storyboarding and shadow puppetry as a form of storytelling, which will be staged as a performance at the end of the workshop.

Dr Siobhan Campbell, curator and scholar of Indonesian art and textiles, discusses the historical artefacts in Tales of Land & Sea, linking them with Jumaadi’s practice and the Sangkuriang artist prints by Arthur Boyd and Indra Deigan.

Beloved children’s storytellers – Nathan Luff, Maryam Master, Sue Whiting – tell the tale of how and why they became a storyteller. Expect mad cap tales of adventure and enjoy the tradition of oral storytelling with the whole family.

Presented in association with Musica Viva Australia Women of Song is an authentic show of conversations and songs, articulating First Nations cultural practice in the here and now, live on stage.

Artist Sancintya Mohini Simpson activates her installation with a performance, followed by a casual conversation over lunch about the way food, memories and politics surround descendants of colonised people. The event includes a light lunch developed in collaboration with the artist and Bundanon Executive Chef Douglas Innes-Will.

Vulnerable and fierce, hilarious and heartbreaking, Queerstories comes to the Shoalhaven for the first time to celebrate the culture and creativity of the region’s LGBTQIA+ community one true story at a time.

As part of the closing weekend of Tales of Land & Sea, electronic R&B artist Komang, will perform works from her expansive EP Mythologies inside the Art Museum, blending ethereal grooves, neo-soul and Balinese spirit.


The full live program is available here

Images available here



To request interviews, further information or imagery please contact Articulate: Siân Davies 0402 728 462 or Claire Martin, 0414 437 588



Bundanon acknowledges the people of the Dharawal and Dhurga language groups as the traditional owners of the land within our boundaries, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.

In Dharawal the word Bundanon means deep valley.

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