Artist in Residence Scholarship

Each year the Dobell Foundation provides scholarship funding support to a selected Artist as part of the Bundanon Artist In Residence program. 
The scholarship is awarded on the basis of the artist’s work, their proposed project, and what they are aiming to achieve both during and as a result of the residency.


The 2023 scholarship was awarded to artist Helen Pynor.

Residency Notes by 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.



Unglazed bone china (made from the artist’s bone removed during surgery, supplemented by animal bone), unglazed earthenware, felt, coral, metal, acrylic, archival pigment prints, lightboxes.
Dimensions variable
Photo: Helen Pynor


The 2022 Dobell Artist in Residence Scholarship went to a collaborative duo of ceramicists, Sarah Rayner and Sophie Carnell. 

“Thank you so much to the Dobell Art Foundation. It is humbling to know that our work is seen as worthy of this generous scholarship.”