Siteworks 2016 | Ghostings

Ghosts surround us. Everything that has happened leaves traces. Buried pasts, half-remembered stories, hidden life and cryptic clues - Siteworks this year lifts the veil to uncover what lies within.

Siteworks is Bundanon’s annual spring event which brings scientists, artists and community voices together to share knowledge and ideas arising from the Bundanon sites through a series of discussions, presentations and experiences.

This year is also the 150th anniversary of the Bundanon homestead, giving us a chance to reflect on the links between what has passed and what remains.

Photo: David Varga (S um of Infinity), Bundanon Property.


Bundanon will be haunted by some of Australia’s best artists during this year’s Siteworks. The homestead will be inhabited by the works of Anne Ferran and Christian Thompson, while Nigel Helyer will take possession of Arthur Boyd’s studio. There will be artists materialising to meet you on a lonely country road, while others will be lurking by bridges, lakes, groves and fields. Don’t scared – all they want is your attention.


Artists: Nigel Helyer, Mark Taylor and Jon Drummond

Elements and minerals lay buried in the landscape, tracing diagrams of human activity. Specks of alluvial gold washed down to the flood plain from worked-out mountain mine shafts – the mineral auras that reveal the long-vanished outlines of farm-buildings and the tell-tale chemical fallout from workplaces.

Boyd painted this (mineralised) landscape with colours which were themselves formulated from earthy compounds and exotic metals, milled to a fine paste in linseed oil and turpentine.

Heavy Metal invites us to interact with one of Arthur Boyd’s painting in his old studio at the Bundanon Homestead to discover a hidden world of elements and minerals in an experience that is simultaneously chemical, visual and musical.

ANNE FERRAN, Intimate Journals

“The photographic series Intimate Journals and the book Artist’s Library arose from time spent with Arthur and Yvonne Boyd’s personal library in the Bundanon homestead. I began by making the ‘visual inventory’ of the library that I knew I would need for the book, while waiting for the inner nature of the library to reveal itself. The photographs have been shaped by, among other things, the idea of a connective tissue linking writing and landscape and the strong attraction I felt for particular titles and texts.”- Anne Ferran

Since 1995 Anne Ferran has been looking at ways the past comes down to us. Her photographic and video works have explored histories of incarceration in prisons, asylums, hospitals and nurseries, and are often haunted by things lost or unseen. She has worked extensively with museum collections, photographic archives and historic sites in Australia and New Zealand. Her work is held in major public collections in Australia and internationally.

MICHAEL & TIM COHEN, The Bundanon Medieval

Artists: Denis Beaubois, Joe Brown McLeod, Michael Cohen, Tim Cohen, Cor Fuhler and Katia Molino

What was happening at Bundanon in the year 950 AD? Join scientists and artists as we dig deep and find out.

In a sequel to their first science-art collaboration here, Ten Trenches (2009), Bundanon’s own Cohen Brothers lead us out into the paddocks to contemplate the Medieval Warm Period (950 -1250 AD). In Britain they were growing grapes and under favourable winds Central Eastern Polynesia was being settled but what about the Shoalhaven? Using deep auger holes, trench and slot excavations, our team has been geologically dating and dream-divining the Bundanon levee bank which dates from this exact period. Step out at dusk, slip through the dirt-strewn slots of time and venture underground to see Bundanon from a poetic medieval perspective.


Experience the colonial Homestead like never before, as Bidjara artist Christian Thompson inhabits the Boyds’ music room.

Polari is the subcultural nineteenth century language of actors, sex workers and criminals. Thompson’s performative photographs play with the notion of disguise and suggest a shifting personal and sexual identity. The acclaimed work flows from his research into an archive of historical photographs of Aboriginal people held at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

Thompson’s Trinity series from Polari will be accompanied by the video Refuge where the artist sings in the Bidjara language.

Christian Thompson is an Australian born, London-based contemporary artist whose work explores notions of identity, cultural hybridity & history. Formally trained as a sculptor, Thompson’s multidisciplinary practice engages mediums such as photography, video, sculpture, performance & sound. His work focuses on the exploration of identity, sexuality, gender, race and memory. In his live performances and conceptual portraits he inhabits a range of personas achieved through handcrafted costumes & carefully orchestrated poses & backdrops.
WEIZEN, Sangkuriang

Artists: Fausto Brusamolino, WeiZen and Yoka Jones

Experience the gods and ancestral ghosts of Java as two performers respond to the west Javanese legend of SANGKURIANG as told through the book that resulted from the 1993 collaboration between Arthur Boyd and Indonesian printmaker Indra Deigan.

Part of this West Javanese legend begins with a goddess banished from the heavens and turned into a wild pig as punishment. In this form, she miraculously gives birth to a human daughter.

Inspired by Diegan and Boyd’s book collaboration, Fausto Brusamolino (lighting & installation designer), WeiZen (initiator & performer) and Yoka Jones (dancer) re-locate and re-imagine aspects of this creation story about Tangkuban Perahu, the volcanic lake on the edge of Bandung. They activate gods and ancestral ghosts from the roots of Java’s animistic history, weaving illusory connections to the spirits that inspired the sculptures in the garden site of Bundanon.

JO LAW AND AGNIESZKA GOLDA, Twilight States and the Edges of Darkness

Artists: Dr Agnieszka Golda, Dr Jo Law, Martin Johnson

Project advisor: Dr Leah Gibbs, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography and Sustainable Communities, and Researcher, AUSCCER

Encounter multi-sensorial, preternatural connections to the environment through constructed textiles, sculptures, and micro-electronics

Twilight States and the Edges of Darkness is a collaborative site-specific mixed and multimedia installation that responds to a selected site at Bundanon. The work creates a contemplative space for encountering multi-sensorial, and preternatural connections to the environment through the use of engendered flora in New South Wales. Images of these plants are expressed through embroidered textiles, sculptural forms, and micro-electronics. The audience is encouraged to explore the shifting quality of the work from day to night. Twilight States is a gentle intervention in the landscape that reminds us of our connections to the ecosystems to which we belong.


Artists: Jude Anderson, Nici Wright and Gilles Lapalus

Niche is a primal experience.

In stepping into each niche, we enter a remembered space of species. Each niche invites an encounter with involuntary art created by fauna.

Niche #1 offers a social sanctuary. From within it we find ourselves amid an exhibition of locally created structures. It shifts the language of habitat so that we live its mystery and vitality as contemporary art.

Niche #2 tenders a place of refuge and intimacy .It is a hideaway island in a field of subterranean havens. It shifts the art of habitat so that we live its repose and calm as intimate refinement.


Artists: Linda Luke, Martin Fox and Michael Toisuta

Double Landscape is two-screen video installation exploring notions of solitude, reverie and space. Slipping into natural environments that point to a different kind of temporal reality. Perhaps, in times of extensive solitude, inside and outside become immense. Perceived borders disintegrate – travelling deeper and deeper into a limitless world.

ANNA TREGLOAN, The Missing Twin

Artist and designer, Anna Tregloan, investigates, imagines and invents the missing twin to The Single Man’s Hut on the Bundanon property. Apparently a mirror image of the remaining structure, The Missing Twin is now the ghost of what was and an evocative setting for the newest instalment in her series of site-specific, locally derived ghost stories titled The Ghost Project.

Previously developed and presented as modules in Seoul, Hong Kong, Albury, Sydney and Prague The Ghost Project combines factual and fantastical imagery and information; it aims to conjure haunting and toy with the fear of the unknown; to question if a ghost might be real or a conjuring of minds and to state that, ultimately, all lines are blurry and our imagination is as fearsome as reality. The Missing Twin will be visible after dark and Anna will be waiting on the porch of the Single Man’s Hut to share truths and fictions with all who visit.

MARTYN JOLLY, Tragic Drowning Fatality

Artists: Dr Martyn Jolly and ANU Experimental Music Studio

This magic lantern show tells the story of an actual double drowning in the Shoalhaven River at Bundanon. Local actors will read newspaper reports and give the testimony of eyewitnesses that were published in the Shoalhaven Telegraph on Wednesday 1 February 1922. The original magic lantern slides Martyn Jolly will project through two nineteenth century ‘dissolving-view’ magic lanterns which date from the 1870s were made between the 1880s and the 1920s. Some were made by amateur Australian photographers, while others were manufactured in the UK and the US and exported to Australia to be used as part of popular melodramatic, musical, instructional or comic entertainments. The slides will be accompanied by live music and electronic samples from Alexander Hunter and the ANU Experimental Music Studio. Travelling magic lanternists had been visiting the Shoalhaven region since the 1870s, but by the time of the drowning they had largely been displaced by the movies. If Helen MacKenzie and her father Ken MacKenzie hadn’t died that day perhaps they may have gone to see an Australian silent picture, The Blue Mountains Mystery, which was showing that week at the Nowra School of Arts. This thriller, directed by Raymond Longford and Lottie Lyell, is now lost, but we know the plot involved murder and a mistakenly identified corpse. The price of admission was a shilling, or a shilling sixpence for the gallery


Artists: Alicia Talbot, Liz Jones, Steve Mayhew, Suzannah Bayes-Morton, Vanessa Barbay and David Little

Walawarni nginjiwarn yallunga

As the afternoon light stretches into darkness, Night Vision invites you into a strangely compelling world as nine performers, five effigies, taxidermied animals and shape shifters enter into a marathon six-hour performance event.

A disorientated 70 year-old, a pack of teenagers, a knowledge man and a woman in loss find themselves connected in a state of a performed delirium on an isolated country road.

This durational work takes place in ever-changing 90-minute cycles over a six-hour time frame. Audiences are invited to view one cycle, or to stay on to see how the work changes as day turns to night.

Welcomed onto country by David Little and his family, Night Vision has been created by a team of artists working in collaboration with an extraordinary ensemble of local performers.



ABC icon Robbie Buck will be hosting the Conversations, using his Radio National and 702 Breakfast hosting skills.


An award winning Australian Indigenous writer, Bruce challenges the claim that pre-colonial Aboriginal society was essentially a hunter-gatherer society.


Katrina Strickland looks at the traces of an artist’s legacy. Her book, Affairs of the Art explores the role those left behind play in burnishing an artist’s reputation after he or she dies.


What is a ghostwriter? Felicity McLean is one, as well as being an author and journalist. She will tell us how it works.


Join real-life ghost hunter Jason King as he talks about how he goes about tracking down and documenting ghosts.


Tim’s current research tackles major climatic anomalies in Australia’s past and deciphering the nature of climate change when humans first arrived on the continent.


Join Miles Merrill from Word Travels as he hosts an evening of storytellers including Miles himself, Aden Rolfe, our FBi Radio competition winner Andre Shannon for best ghost story and more!


At twilight the Talk Tent transforms into the Haunted Point Dance Hall where Gramophone Man resurrects the great sounds your grandparents used to love on 78rpm records using genuine His Master’s Voice wind-up gramophone players.

Later in the evening, DJ Shivers Regal will appear playing a mix of vintage music on the decks from the 40s to 70s – including old ska, some classic 50s r’n’b, rock’n’roll, southern soul, a smattering of latin and a bit of funk.



Want to learn how to perform your writing or write for performance?

With 18 years of professional experience, the award-winning founder of Australian Poetry Slam, Miles Merrill, will look at ways stories and poetry can get your message across: from holding a microphone, to expressing vulnerability, to editing your text for a live presentation.

This ‘wordshop’ uses one of the primary characteristics of poetry—say more with less—to assist participants to perform their writing with power.


Camping $10 per person. Under 12yo free.




Gates open at noon

Dates & Times
24/09/2016 - 24/09/2016 Bundanon

Bundanon acknowledges the Wodi Wodi and the Yuin, of the South Coast region, 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.