25 August 2022
Canberra artist Alexander Boynes creates exciting new work
Leading Australian artists explore regenerative farming in an innovative new exhibition opening at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra on 26 August 2022.
Local artist Alexander Boynes joins Ros Atkins, Jenny Bell, Jo Davenport, Janet Laurence, Tony Nott, Idris Murphy and John Wolseley in the Earth Canvas exhibition, which uses art to showcase good land management and to celebrate the creativity of farmers who practise sustainable agriculture.
The Earth Canvas project invited contemporary artists to visit regenerative farms between the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers and capture their perspectives of the land and the farmers’ management of country. The resulting artworks showcase the creativity of both the farmers and artists and their deep empathy with the land.
Earth Canvas has been touring nationally and, at each venue, a local artist is invited to join the project and contribute an artwork to the exhibition.
For the Canberra exhibition, Alexander Boynes created a multimedia work inspired by his time at Millpost farm – a sustainable 1,200 ha property on Ngunnawal/Ngambri country between Queanbeyan and Bungendore, in New South Wales.
Mr Boynes said the artwork seeks to address a holistic approach to what regeneration in contemporary Australia looks like.
‘It’s not just about caring for our shared environment in the face of the climate emergency, but how we can respect and acknowledge Australia’s 65,000 years of First Nations history, while continuing to live on the land and make an income from it,’ said Mr Boynes.
National Museum director Dr Mathew Trinca acknowledged the role art plays in tackling important issues.
‘Art is a great way of exploring how regenerative farming can play a role in addressing the contemporary climate challenges facing the country,’ said Dr Trinca.
David Watson is a third-generation grazier at Millpost farm and said that sustainable farming practices have a vast range of rewards.
‘Watching our trees grow, and the birdlife returning. The regeneration of our grassy woodland sites. Learning how to be self-reliant for food. Producing fine wool that we now sell direct to knitters and crocheters. It’s all very beneficial to our land,’ said Mr Watson.
Gill Sanbrook, the driving force behind Earth Canvas: Art in Ag, said: ‘The artists and farmers involved in the Earth Canvas project wanted to share their combined experience of artworks and farm life through the exhibition.
‘By taking time out to think about, look at and feel the landscape, we can all develop a better appreciation of the origins of our food and of the agricultural processes behind it,’ said Ms Sanbrook.
Artworks in the exhibition include an installation work by Janet Laurence, paintings by John Wolseley, Jenny Bell, Jo Davenport and Idris Murphy, prints by Rosalind Atkins and photographs by Tony Nott.
Developed by Earth Canvas: Art in Ag and curated by Albury LibraryMuseum, the project has been supported by the National Museum of Australia and the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program.
The exhibition will be supported by a series of public programs at the National Museum; on Friday 26 August an all-day symposium on the future of regenerative farming and the relationship between farmers and artists will take place. On Saturday 27 August there will be a full day of talks by the artists featured in the exhibition.
Earth Canvas is at the National Museum of Australia until 30 October 2022.
Media contact: Matthew Heap 02 6208 5148 | 0459 949 172 or email@example.com
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