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Companionship & Kinship | Helen Pynor

While in residence at Bundanon I developed my project exploring the interspecies ‘companionship’ between animals and minerals, and more specifically the animal-calcium ‘kinship’ that has led to the evolution of bones. I spent time studying animal bones on-site at Bundanon, especially wombat and kangaroo bones, marsupials who are resident in magnificent abundance. I am using native fauna bones to make bone china objects, bringing into dialogue two seemingly incongruent ideas: the ‘animality’ of bone china, and the ‘minerality’ of animals. I’m interested in the metaphoric and deconstructive gesture this offers, revealing underlying structures of material connectivity between animal and mineral, living and non-living, not immediately available to our senary perception. My project also explores forms of listening (human, marsupial, bird) and forms of paying homage.

The 2 weeks I was in residence at Bundanon offered me an intensive, immersive, uninterrupted time to sink into the imaginative and material spaces of the project, and forms of nourishment that are unique to this place. I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity and wish to thank the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation and the Bundanon Trust for their generous, timely and thoroughly ‘on-topic’ support. I feel myself part of a long line of artists, stretching into the past and future, who have been and will be nourished by this place, which in itself was comforting, generative and inspiring.

Helen Pynor

Dr Helen Pynor is an Artist and Researcher whose practice explores the materiality of human and non-human bodies, and philosophically and experientially ambiguous zones such as the life-death boundary, the intersubjective nature of organ transplantation, and the animate-inanimate boundary in relation to prosthetics.

She was in residence at Bundanon in 2023.


Open to professional creatives from all disciplines, individually or in groups. Residents are hosted in purpose-built studios.

Bundanon’s Artist in Residence program operates as an annual call out for applications.

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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.

This website contains names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.