Beyond Balawan - Aesthetic responses to the Bundian Way
This publication catalogues work created by students and visiting artists during two ANU School of Art Environment Studio electives titled the Balawan Electives, a pilot project focussing on the Bundian Way. The Bundian Way is a shared history pathway winding through significant landscapes over several hundred kilometres between the Snowy Mountains and Twofold Bay and is an ancient Aboriginal route, older than the silk road. The first European settlers were shown the pathway for trade and access purposes. A survey of the extent of the Bundian Way and its accessibility was conducted by John Blay, writer and naturalist, alongside elders and representatives of Indigenous communities. Since then, efforts have been underway to promote the heritage value of the Bundian Way to the wider community and to encourage Indigenous, non-Indigenous locals and visitors to harness the shared values of the path.
The 2015 Balawan Electives brought together as partners the Bundian Way Project, Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council and the School of Art, Australian National University (ANU). These partnerships facilitated Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal visual artists to undertake field research together on part of the Bundian Way to produce fine art for public exhibition, aesthetically characterising the Bundian Way.
The opening of the Beyond Balawan exhibition 2015 coincided with the launch of John Blay's book: On track - Searching out the Bundian Way