Friday, October 5, 2012

Seeding Auckland

Last week I packed Seeding the Cloud into my suitcase and headed over the Tasman to the city of Auckland.

This visit is my first venture in touring the project and working it in another city. I installed a hard copy (so to speak) in a gallery (object, instruction cards, and digital screening of process at Objectspace) along with working the process with the public, including small groups walking and working around the process around the city streets, parks beaches etc.

There was only so much I could prepare in advance of my visit.  I have trialled the process many times outdoors on my own, I've networked the project amongst friends and family, created events for small groups to experience the process outdoors and held an indoor workshop which suited those not so intrepid. However, these had occurred mostly (but not exclusively) in my own city.

My intention with touring the project and working the process in other cities is to promote the ideas behind it and to create opportunities for the public to engage with it. If the project is to work as a solution to the issue of waste plastic in the environment, (i.e. promoting plastic as a valuable resource and beautiful material) the concept has to reach a wider audience and the process has to be taken up by others than myself. The biggest question for me it what is the most effective means for this to happen.

In the weeks before I left I consulted with the very lovely and capable Laura Howard at Objectspace.  I decided to create a structure for the project based on my prior experience, the trick was to do this within the two week period which included school holidays, my daughters eighth birthday (oh, and did i mention getting sick!!) So in conjunction with Artstation (conveniently located opposite Objectspace) I planned some events; an indoor workshop, artist talk and a couple of walking/process events. There were bound to be hiccups, something unknown or unexpected to contend with (Auckland weather is known to be very wet and windy at this time of year), so I was more than a little anxious the weeks leading up to the launch!!

Fortunately there is plenty of good news to report!! The installation at Objectspace in Ponsonby Rd went really well (many thanks to the very supportive Objectspace staff!), and the project situated well in the street frontage gallery. The scrolling digital images were particularly effective in catching the attention of people passing by and while the headings of the instruction cards (not visible, but to the right of the image) are legible from the street, the finer details in black can be taken in by stepping in the gallery.

(Oh, and have I told you that my great, great grandfather was the architect of the building that houses Objectspace, he was responsible for a few banks and churches around Auckland)

Over the next few posts I will report on the many lovely people i have encountered during my visit and the overwhelmingly positive experience of presenting the project here. I got to catch up with some old friends from when i lived here many years ago, (half my life ago) and met many others who were new.

Either way many thanks, it was a enriching experience to walk/work and talk alongside you all!!

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