Arthur Boyd

An Active Witness

This is the first major exhibition to consider the social consciousness that infused Arthur Boyd’s life and to link his political concerns with his art work.


I’d like to feel that through my work there is a possibility of making a contribution to a social progression or enlightenment.
- Arthur Boyd

Curator Zara Stanhope has worked with Bundanon Trust to bring together paintings, prints, ceramics and other materials from the Bundanon Trust Collection, offering insights into how one of Australia’s greatest artists dealt with the social responsibility that defines humanity. The exhibition includes works by Boyd’s contemporaries and is supported by loans from public and private collections, photographs and other documents.

The illustrated catalogue, with essay by consultant curator Zara Stanhope, conveys the political life of Arthur Boyd and aims to re-position him and our understanding of his world view in the context of his life. It is a scholarly work which enlarges our understanding of Boyd’s contribution as an artist, locating him as an individual engaged in the urgent issues of his time – many of which remain salient today.

Thematic Tour

Walk through the key themes of the exhibition as installed at the Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House, at the launch in May 2013. Photography by Rob Little.

View the PDF here


Bundanon Trust has produced a beautiful, full colour illustrated 96-page catalogue with essay by curator Zara Stanhope to accompany the exhibition.

Buy the catalogue here



Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House ,Canberra ACT, 23 May 29 Sep 2013

Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie NSW, 18 Oct 10 Dec 2013

Cairns Regional Art Gallery, Cairns QLD, 10 Jan 5 Mar 2014

QUT Art Museum, Brisbane QLD, 14 Mar 29 Apr 2014

S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney NSW, 6 Jun 15 July 2014

Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga NSW, 18 Oct – 30 Nov 2014

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington VIC, 5 Dec 2014 – 15 Feb 2015

Jervis Bay Maritime Museum & Gallery, Huskisson NSW, 27 Feb – 19 Apr 2015

Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston TAS, 8 May – 5 July 2015

Collie Art Gallery, Collie WA, 17 Jul 30 Aug 2015

Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, Katoomba NSW, 6 Nov 2015 - 3 Jan 2016

Education programs

During March 2015, local schools participated in education programs at Jervis Bay Maritime Museum & Gallery exploring the Bundanon Trust touring exhibition Arthur Boyd: An Active Witness.

The program involved an informative tour of the exhibition and discussion of artworks with a practical drawing workshop, conducted by Education Officer Jim Birkett. Arthur Boyd’s artwork The Journey, 1996 formed the basis of a practical drawing activity where students explored concepts of movement through time; travel from one place to another; linking images from one space to another and location.

Program funding was provided by the Federal Government's National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach program. Schools attending: Vincentia High School; Nowra Christian School and Nowra Anglican College.

Supported by:

This exhibition is supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.

Catalogue Sponsor