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Bundanon Trust announces theme for 2017 SITEWORKS
Deborah Kelly, Birth of Beenus (remix), Commissioned by Bundanon Trust exclusively for SITEWORKS, 2017.

SYDNEY.- Bundanon Trust’s annual event, SITEWORKS, returns this spring bringing together contemporary artists, scientists and environmentalists for a weekend of festivities at the iconic Bundanon Homestead. This year SITEWORKS programming explores the theme of ‘The Birds & The Bees’. Presented over a full day and night on Saturday 23 September, SITEWORKS invites visitors to camp overnight on the historic property that is the former home and studio of Arthur Boyd.

Bundanon Trust CEO, Deborah Ely explains: “The birds and the bees have captured our collective imagination for millennia so this year’s event promises to be an intriguing mix with suggestive connotations woven in. There’s a palpable sense of anticipation as the artists, scientists and community members involved unveil their personal responses to the theme and property”.

Interpretations of this year’s SITEWORKS theme ‘The Birds & the Bees’ include real and imagined habitats, sonic interpretations, scientific research unpacked, showy costumes, sex education, and erotic tales. It is not all ‘adults only’, there will be opportunities for children of all ages to enjoy encounters with real live bees and birds.

SITEWORKS is presented across this iconic property, former home and studio of Australian artist, Arthur Boyd: Bundanon Homestead becomes a bee-hive, with sound, smell, sight and touch, to reflect on this most fragile and inventive of creatures. Children can connect with their imaginations through free, guided activities during the afternoon, and conversation and ideas will flow throughout the day and into evening in the Conversation Tent, hosted by ABC Science’s Robyn Williams.

As night falls, experience immodest adult-literature in a soiree of stories, and enjoy drinks including honey mead in the Buzz Bar. Visitors are invited to camp overnight and experience a dawn chorus on Sunday.

A series of free workshops and hands-on art-making activities for all ages include an opportunity to create imaginary Sculpted Birds from natural pods, seeds, feathers, wire and found material, learn to make beeswax food wraps, beeswax candle-making workshop, Poetry Bee writing poetry on the wings of paper bees, and in still life drawing sessions, observe the intricate structure of birds’ nests found as windfalls on the Bundanon properties over the last few years.

Select artists have been invited to interpret the theme through site-specific works and include:

· Anna Noble, No Vertical Song & Reverie, Kath Fries, Api-Centric, and Mike Leggett, Extinction Poker Machine: B. Movie: The Bundanon Homestead is the hive, an homage to bees, extinct, native, alive and buzzing. The sound of humming and the smell of bees’ wax permeates the air and we are encouraged to ruminate on this most fragile and inventive of creatures.

· Sue Broadway, Liar Lyre: A tawdry but magnificent imitation of the male Lyre Bird, complete with song and dance.

· Elia Bosshard, Flight of the Bumblebee: What happens when a swarm of five flutists perform this incredible work? Be drawn into the flight and energy of this piece as it surrounds you at various moments throughout the day.

· Alyson Bell, Spirit: Lingering beliefs, stemming from ancient folklore and superstition, shape our mind as we witness a trapped bird trying to break free from the studio of Arthur Boyd.

· Courtney Coombs, Spectrum: Responding to the erotic dance suggested by the title ‘Birds and Bees’ Coombs’ installed texts provoke thoughts of love gone wrong, gender warfare and the binary nature of personal negotiations.

· Jody Graham, The Bower: Showing off his luxury abode, flashing extravagant items and attempting to seal the deal with exceptional moves on the dance floor, the Satin Bowerbird employs familiar rituals when seeking a mate. Central to his efforts is a bower, an elaborate structure brought to life in human proportions.

· Nigel Helyer, A Dissimulation of Birds: Helyer plays homage to the virtuosity of our feathered friends by playfully manipulating sonic mimicry - human on bird and bird on human.

· Katia Molino & Michael Cohen An Intimate Soiree: Glowing in the darkened field, you will see the Single Man’s Hut. Therein you will find a single man and single woman, engaged in a very old-fashioned entertainment... reading. We invite you to enter for intimate soiree of stories aplenty from the 19th century’s most immodest adult literature.

Master of ceremonies, ABC’s science broadcaster Robyn Williams, will keep the conversation flowing in the Talking Tent, where leading ecologists and academics, specialising in wildlife and evolution, and representatives of the local Indigenous community will discuss birds, bees and behaviour. Scientists and speakers include:

· Michelle Hall, an academic and researcher specialising in female bird song and lyre birds.

· Irish wildlife ecologist, Gráinne Cleary, who specialises in how people interact with wildlife in their own back gardens.

· Auntie Julie Freeman is a Gorawarl Jerrawongarla woman and a local Aboriginal elder, and will talk about local stories involving birds and bees.

· Professor of Visual Neuroscience, Mandyam (Srini) Srinivasan’s research focuses on the principles of visual processing, perception and cognition in simple natural systems, and he has a particular interest in how bees navigate.

· Professor Saul Cunningham is best known for his work on pollination ecology, from native plants to crops, and from wild pollinators to managed honeybees.

· Professor of Evolution, Rob Brooks. His fascinating range of study includes the evolution of mate choice behaviour, the biology of ageing and longevity and the risks of extinction.

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