About Bimblebox Art Project

Bimblebox 153 Birds at QCA’s Webb Gallery, Griffith University, Qld, 2019. Photo Steve Mardon.

The Bimblebox Art Project:

The Bimblebox Art Project has been created and developed by artist Jill Sampson. Begun April 2012, Jill has worked across the project throughout this past decade and continues, with Bimblebox 153 Birds, into the future. The Bimblebox Art Project is now an eleven year story of fossil fuel, a nature refuge, biodiversity and a planet in climate emergency.

The projects purpose is to creatively engage with and document the Bimblebox Nature Refuge, a protected environment that is NOT protected from and is subsequently threatened by coal mining. The first step was to develop artist camps on the nature refuge bringing artists, writers, photographers and other creatives into a direct, on site experience of place. From the earliest, exhibitions were envisaged and began to be developed.

The Bimblebox Art Project aims to engage, educate and engender people’s connection with Bimblebox; to take the Bimblebox Nature Refuge beyond the fence-line and bring an experience of it to people throughout Australia; to build an understanding of the value of natural environments like Bimblebox; to engage in conversations around climate change, coal mining, biodiversity and what value we place on water, land and the environment.

Art, science, nature camps, touring exhibitions, writing, music, various events, artist books, education kits, creative activities for children, panel discussions, a printed exhibition catalogue, media exposure, a digital catalogue app and academic research have been some of the outcomes.

Through the Bimblebox Art Project a large body of cultural material, creative responses and artworks that have extended beyond the fence-line of the Nature Refuge have been facilitated and produced. The Bimblebox Art Project has brought a remote vibrant wildlife refuge alive for audiences. It has touched the lives of people across Australia and, via participation and digital media, the world.

The exhibition installation Bimblebox 153 Birds is currently touring and available to galleries.

Sheena Gillman speaks for The Bimblebox Alliance after the court decision. photo Malcolm Paterson

Land Court of Qld:
Waratah Coal Pty. Ltd. v Youth Verdict Ltd., The Bimblebox Alliance Inc. and others
In 2022 Jill Sampson was a Lay Witness in the Land Court of Queensland for The Bimblebox Alliance, representing the cultural life, legacy and community that comprises the Bimblebox Art Project

The Land Court of Queensland case was triggered by objections to Waratah Coal’s application for the final Mining Lease and Environmental Authority to begin mining thermal coal. President Kingham recommended Waratah Coal’s applications be refused, citing unacceptable climate risk, environmental damage to the Bimblebox Nature Refuge and human rights. You can read about the successful Land Court result here.
Waratah Coal applied in December 2022 for a judicial review that was expected to generate a supreme court hearing. However on 11 February 2023, Waratah Coal withdrew its appeal

On 3rd April, 2023, The Queensland Department of Environment and Science refused the environmental authority application for Waratah Coal Pty Ltd.’s Galilee Coal Mine. See this here. There has been no ruling at this stage on the Mining Lease application.

Christene Drewe (Stat Library of Qld) and Jill Sampson with Bimblebox Art Project items that have been collected by the State Library of Qld, 2017.

State Library of Queensland collection:

Ephemera from the Bimblebox Art Project has been collected by the State Library of Queensland, while this website has been included in the Pandora archive.
The State Library has also collected two artist books relating to the Bimblebox Art Project, including:
Poems for Bimblebox, September 2013, Beth Jackson; Louis Lim binder
Bimblebox Art Project: what’s yours is my coal mine/edited by Cain & Todd Hunter, Gerald Soworka; Townsville, Qld.: Hunter Bros Press; 2013

Photos above, L – R: Resource, 2013, Donna Davis, Document://Bimblebox, 2013, photo Mel de Ruyter; Alpha Mail, 2013, Gerald Soworka, Document://Bimblebox, photo Mel de Ruyter; Meanwhile at Bimblebox… 2013, Samara McIlroy and Bimblebox NR community/supporters, Document://Bimblebox, photo Mel de Ruyter; Bimblebox: art – science – nature at Redland Art Gallery, photo Carl Warner; Resource, 2013, Donna Davis and Reconfigured Landscape 1, 2, 3, 2013, Shayna Wells, Bimblebox: art – science – nature, photo Jill Sampson; Coalface performance, Manly Art Gallery, 2016, Alison Clouston and Boyd, Bimblebox: art – science – nature, photo Tangible Media; Bimblebox 153 Birds, Impress Gallery, 2015, photo Alana Brekelmans; Bimblebox 153 Birds, Mary Cairncross, Maleny, 2018, photo Jennifer Eurell; Jill Sampson talking at the Bimblebox 153 Birds exhibition, Gympie Regional Art Gallery, 2016, photo Jill Sampson.

Exhibitions developed by the Bimblebox Art Project:

“My Dear Whats the latest at Bimblebox”, Australian Pelican, 2014, Wendy Lowe. Included in the Bimblebox 153 Birds exhibition.
Australian Pelican, Writer Sandra Renew “The pelicans fly on”, musician Bassling on balloon. Audio compilation and mixing by Boyd. Included in the Bimblebox 153 Birds exhibition.

Other Exhibitions:

Participants at the art, science, nature camps have also developed their own exhibitions of artwork from their experiences of the Bimblebox Nature Refuge
Bimblebox MMXIV, 2015, group exhibition organised by Greg and Emma Harm, at Ipswich Community Gallery.
Bimblebox to Gum Creek, 2017, Graydon Gallery, Jennifer Stuerzl, solo exhibition, Graydon Gallery.
Ripple Effects, 2018, artists Jennifer Stuerzl, Rosie Lloyd-Giblett, Beth Jackson at Gympie Regional Gallery.
Michael Foley: The Long View, 2018, Michael Foley, Caloundra Regional Gallery. A posthumous exhibition of watercolours by Michael Foley, curated by Beth Jackson. Included seven watercolours Foley produced at the Bimblebox Nature Refuge.
Orchestra of Wilderness, 2022, Frida Forsberg, 4 – 13 November, Write Gallery, Toowoomba, Qld.
Nature + Art Exhibition, 2022, Peta Lloyd, Sally North and Michelle Black, 5 – 27 November. Fig Tree Galleries, Yeppoon, Qld.

Artist Judith Sinnamon travelled independently to Bimblebox Nature Refuge, resulting in the following exhibition:
Bimblebox, 2018, Judith Sinnamon, solo exhibition at Edwina Corlette Gallery.

The Bimblebox Art Project has also inspired other projects:

Artist from the Bunbury region developed the exhibition Transplanting Disobedience to coincide with the exhibiting of Bimblebox: art – science – nature at the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery. After viewing the exhibitions local artists developed the exhibition, Artists at the Helm.
Transplanting Disobedience, 2014, an art exhibition that focused on the local coal mining impacts around Bunbury, Western Australia.
Artists at the Helm, 2014/2015 advocating protection for a local native forest block, Bunbury, Western Australia.

Bimblebox Art Project has participated in two research projects.

Scroll further for an overview of the Bimblebox Nature Refuge and the art, science, nature camps.

On this website:

fb: Bimblebox 153 Birds

Artist Michael Pospischil working in the Landscape, Bimblebox Nature Refuge, photo Jill Sampson.

Bimblebox Nature Refuge:

Bimblebox Nature Refuge from the air, photo Nikolas Hamm

Bimblebox Nature Refuge, L – R: Bull Oak, Eric Anderson: Seedpod, Jill Sampson: Wallaroos in Kangaroo Grass, Sonya Duus; Starflower, Alison Clouston, Double-barred Finches, Eric Anderson: Bimblebox tree, Jill Sampson: Dragon, Tangible Media; Heathland, Tangible Media; Brolgas, Sonya Duus; Bimblebox woodland, Tangible Media; Grevillea, Jill Sampson, Ironbark trees, Jill Sampson; Rainbow Bee-eater, Tangible Media.

The Bimblebox Nature Refuge:

The Bimblebox Nature Refuge is an 8000 hectare area of diverse woodland in the desert uplands region of central western Queensland. Bimblebox is protected in perpetuity by a Nature Refuge Agreement with the Queensland State Government. Shockingly nature refuges are not protected from mining.  Waratah Coal plan to develop the Galilee Coal project, a thermal coal mine that would have a devastating impact on the Bimblebox Nature Refuge.

“The proposed mine would produce 40 million tonnes per annum of thermal coal over a life of 25-30 years, generating around 2.9 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, inconsistent with the aims of the Paris Agreement to constrain climate change.” Environmental Defenders Office (article here)

Understanding the proposed mining developments for the Galilee Basin has brought a realisation of the greater threat to life on Earth from generated carbon emissions if the Galilee Basin is developed for thermal coal export.  As well as an understanding of the extensive and irreversible impact of large scale coal mining on groundwater reserves, ecosystems and agriculture.

At Present the Carmichael Coal Mine, Bravus (Adani Group), is the one thermal coal mine to develop to production in the Galilee Basin. But Waratah Coal applied for their final mining approvals for the Galilee Coal Project, the mine that would impact the Bimblebox Nature Refuge. The Bimblebox Alliance, Youth Verdict and others lodged objections generating a Land Court of Queensland case during 2022. EDO press release here.

President Kingham of the Land Court recommended Waratah Coal’s applications be refused, citing unacceptable climate risk, environmental damage to the Bimblebox Nature Refuge and human rights. You can read about the successful Land Court result here.
Waratah Coal applied in December 2022 for a judicial review that may generate a supreme court hearing.

The Bimblebox Nature Refuge combines thriving vibrant ecosystems with sustainable beef production.  On Bimblebox both conservation and agriculture work together generating research projects in biodiversity and sustainable land management practices.

For more information on the Bimblebox Nature Refuge, go here.
For the Bimblebox Nature Refuge website go here.

Artist Alison Clouston recording the milking cow’s stomach at the Bimblebox Nature Refuge, 2012, photo by Boyd.

photos above, L – R: Bimblebox camp site, 2012, photo Jill Sampson; in augural artist camp artists and volunteers, 2012; Alan Tulloch, 2016, photo Tangible Media; Ecology walk, 2016, photo Tangible Media; Jude Roberts, 2012, photo Jill Sampson; Camp kitchen, 2013, photo Jill Sampson; Gerald Soworka, 2012, photo Jill Sampson; Artist’s at work, 2016, photo Tangible Media; Howard and Sarah Butler, 2012, photo Jill Sampson; Liz Mahood, 2013, photo Jill Sampson.

The camps on Bimblebox:

Bimblebox Art, Science, Nature Camps:
Bringing artists into interaction with the Bimblebox Nature Refuge was one of the most important aims for the Bimblebox Art Project.

The Bimblebox art, science, nature camps returned in September 2022.

Diverse groups gathered annually at the Bimblebox Nature Refuge each September from 2012 – 2017.  The 2018 camp was cancelled due to deepening drought conditions at that time. Drought then covid 19 pandemic delayed the camps return until 2022. At each camp the artists, writers, creatives would explore, make and develop work that in its own way distils and documents the Bimblebox NR environment. The work creatively explores this place, is an archive of this threatened environment and makes comment on issues such as biodiversity loss, food security, water use and climate change while celebrating the vibrancy of life that currently thrives on the Bimblebox Nature Refuge.

Through their artworks the artists have explored the material, visual, historical, scientific and physical existence of the Bimblebox Nature Refuge while asking our community and our society as a whole what the future holds for this nature refuge and what human and societal value we place on it.

Artist Shayna Wells, Bimblebox Nature Refuge, 2013, photo Tangible Media.

2 responses to “About Bimblebox Art Project

  1. Pingback: Bimblebox welcomes an artist’s touch « Bimblebox Nature Refuge·

  2. How many more unique Australian creatures do we have to lose before long-term environmental health is valued above short-term profit & pure laziness by our political leaders?

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