A hybrid, hyperlocal participatory art project - Started August 2021, Seville Street Lane Cove
In a similar manner to an earlier work ‘A Year of Time’, I’m inviting you to take an item that has meaning to me. Each week I’ll be leaving out different objects, artworks, garden produce, or even a story that will be displayed on a plinth in an outdoor gallery setting at the end of my driveway. A QR code can be scanned as you walk past to find out about the work and project.
In exchange, should you be drawn to one of the items, I ask you to leave something in return, something that has meaning to you, something that may have us thinking about ‘How to Grow a Future’ during these strange times.
No contribution is too big or too small. These will be documented and inform an exhibition at a time in the future when we can celebrate and come together as a community. There are no expectations or judgements on what is exchanged, if anything. I accept the fact that items may go ‘missing’ but I hope they don’t because without hope what do we have? This small intervention into our lives, that have become temporarily closed down in many ways will, I hope, get people thinking about how they/we can grow a future in which we, and the planet, thrive and connect.
SO, TAKE WHAT YOU LIKE, SURPRISE ME WITH YOUR EXCHANGE.
SHARE SOMETHING THAT INTERESTS YOU, A WORD, A POEM, THOUGHTS, AN OBJECT.
I INVITE YOU TO PARTICIPATE
BACKGROUND TO THE PROJECT
I’ve been interested in the share economy, sustainability and community engagement for a while now. I’m interested in the relationship between people and objects and also the gallery space and how context can change meaning. All this has informed my exhibition practice. I recently completed an artwork titled ‘homebound – the things that kept me safe’ which explored absence, anxiety and the meaning of objects in the domestic environment during the first lockdown.
Once again here we are in Sydney, in lockdown. Our everyday routines and patterns of behaviours have changed. We’re engaging and connecting with our surroundings and others in different ways and the boundaries between work, home and play have shifted and become blurred.
As a passionate permaculture gardener and over the years I’ve given away free excess produce to neighbours who passed by my home. When ‘Lockdown 2’ started I began posting on a hyperlocal website offering the produce to people who may be exercising in the local area. Some people left me small exchanges in return. I didn’t provide an exact address as an encouragement for people to spend time exploring their locale.
As an artist and gallery director, both my business and creative practice have been impacted by Covid. Making and community interaction keeps me sane. It helps me make sense of the world around me. One of my strengths is adaptability and creative thinking. But how could I make sense of all this? How could I pivot my practise, the way I interact, while still keep the integrity of the core of how I exist in the world. Well, for now, this is it.
Week 1 - 6 Virtual Hugs
Handmade ‘virtual hug’ brooches.
“Each virtual hug contains bush marigold seeds from my garden so that once you’ve finished passing your virtual hugs onto others, the planet can receive a hug by planting these easy to grow garden plants that provide nourishment for beneficial insects and the soil. Just bury the fabric about 1cm deep in a sunny spot, water and be patient. Bees love marigolds.
The marigold, also known as the “herb of the sun”, represents passion and creativity…properties vital for art and culture to thrive.
Week 2 - In memory of food and a bunch of perennial leeks
An electroformed leek, an element from a large exhibition neckpiece titled ‘In Memory of Food – Tribal neckpiece for a future warrier’ which was a statement on food security. The leek was carefully painted with a carbon paint and then immersed in an electrified solution with a copper coil. Over time, a layer of copper formed over the leek, enclosing it, creating a sarcophagus of a relic of precious food. Also up for exchange are a number of perennial leek plants, a hardy, low maintenance and pest resistant edible plant.
Week 3 - Some Tibetan Prayer Beads (mala) . Strands of 108 beads
Beads made by hand by others, primarily from clay sourced in Sagada, the Philippines (the home town of my partner), and strung by me.
Ways to calm nervous anxiety. Train the attention by slowly breathing while going around the beads. By focussing on the breath and the beads, one is less likely to get caught up in the drama of our own thoughts. It allows a breathing space, a possibility of distance and detachment from our ego driven personalities, thoughts and emotions.
We can breathe again and life becomes a little more bearable.
Week 4 - Madagascan bean plant and 4 Madagascan beans
This has to have been the bean that was used in Jack and the Beanstalk!
A vigorous growing perennial vine that will provide you with food for years to come.
The quick fix of an existing plant, or the greater joy of watching a ‘bean hatch’ over time (but there’s the risk of failure).
What will you choose and why?