Australia has been battered by heavy rains and flash flooding these past weeks, resulting in mass evacuations and the loss of life. Amid the chaos, Australian cultural museums have also been effected. ArtsAsiaPacific reports that the Bundanon museum in New South Wales’s Shoalhaven region, which just opened last month after years of Covid-related delays, has been forced to close. As a result, the museum also had to cancel its Impulse Festival, which is led by Indigenous community members.
However, there will be opportunities for the affected artists. “Artists featured in the festival will be invited to perform at Bundanon throughout the coming year,” an Instagram post from the Bundanon Museum read. “We are grateful for your patience and understanding. In this time of unprecedented weather conditions, keeping our community and visitors safe is our number one priority.”
The Bundanon Museum has a difficult history with Australia’s increasingly intense weather events. In the Australian bush fires of 2019 and 2020, the museum came close to being destroyed.
It holds the collection of one of Australia’s most important artists, Arthur Boyd, whose collection is valued at $46 million. After the blazes of 2020, the museum was rebuilt to be fire- and flood-resistant via a $33 million project.
The museum did not report that any artworks were damaged during the flooding, though not all Australian cultural institutions can say the same. The Lismore Regional Gallery, Northern Rivers Conservatorium, Lismore City Hall, and M-Arts (Murwillumbah) have all lost works in their collections due to the heavy rains which continue to batter the country’s eastern coast.