Journey Through Urban Jungle - Robert Boynes

Canberra Times (Panorama), p.22
12 July, 2008
Philip O'Brien

Left: Images: Richard Briggs

» Click here to dowload article

» Back to previous page

When Robert Boynes retired as head of the Painting Workshop at the Australian National University School of Art in 2006, he decided he needed a larger home studio. Freed from the demands of teaching and administration, Boynes whose work is featured in major Australian and international galleries was now able to concentrate full-time on his own art. He wanted a studio with a higher ceiling, column-free space and plenty of blank walls.He approached Canberra architect Dennis Formiatti to design and build the structure. What eventuated was not just a studio but a workshop, storage space and gallery in one. The design, entitled ''Studio Blue'', won Formiatti two architectural awards. A model of the studio is about to be showcased in the Australian exhibition at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Meanwhile, invigorated by the new space, Boynes has an exhibition opening in Sydney this month and will be represented at the Melbourne Arts Fair in August.''It might look just as chaotic as ever,'' Boynes says, ''but there's now room for everything from planning to creation and post-production, it's all to hand. There's also all the wall space I need.''Formiatti's design for the studio drew on the architectural heritage of the Canberra-Monaro region, notably the tin and timber huts of the high country. His materials were simple a timber and steel frame with plaster board for internal walls and corrugated sheeting for external surfaces. There's storage space, in the form of a bulk head, above the entrance and a sliding service door leading to a sheltered courtyard where Boynes washes out his materials using rainwater from a large tank...