beginning shot

Tending is an experimental garden project in one of the courtyards at Sydney College of the Arts.

Beginning in July 2010, we will regularly be spending a little time on site to slowly watch as the garden evolves via our smallish interventions. What may emerge in the process?

In the first instance, artists (and keen amateur gardeners) Lucas Ihlein and Diego Bonetto will be tending the garden. Over time, other folks from the college and beyond may like to get involved. We’ll observe what happens as it all trundles along…

Tending is not a community garden per se (with plots and allotments and such). Rather, it’s a chance for us to intervene lightly in the social and biological fabric of the college.

We’d like to use the garden as an opportunity to experiment, to stretch our green thumbs in a space much bigger than our pokey little suburban backyards, and to discuss our observations here.

[UPDATE! Read Ross Gibson’s greeting and introduction to the project here. (Ross is the initiator of the whole project, commissioning it to happen on behalf of the college).]

tending aerial shot

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3 thoughts on “About

  1. It’s wonderful to see this project starting, Lucas.
    For folks looking in for the first time — the ‘Tending’ project is the beginning of a potential ‘research focus’ for staff and students at Sydney College of the Arts.

    In my role as a research-focussed professor at the College, I’ve been negotiating to have the gardens-theme materialise at our Callan Park location. Lucas and I have been working behind the scenes for a while, seeding the alliances and finessing the themes and guiding princiiples of the project.

    Lucas has come up with the title: ‘TENDING’. I like this title A LOT. For me, gardens are wonderful versions of complex/dynamic systems: they have ‘organising tendencies’ in them, but they are willful and lively and potentially wild too; they exist on a blurry line between nature and culture and they require cooperation … between people, betwen institutions, between work and play, between rules and unruliness, between plans and freedom. They are like comprehensible and l=pleasurable versions of the messy contemporary world — interactive, delicate, hard work, generative, social, beautiful, requiring constant care and cooperation.

    It’s going to be fascinating to see how this project tends, who tends it, and what it needs for all its growing and continuing assertions and tendencies.

    I will keep dropping comments into the blog — like little seeds of thought — to give a context for the project. Please — join in in whatever way you like . Verbally. Pictorially. Physically, by coming along and adding your input to the plot itself.
    So the blog will grow too — like some kind of garden

    Stay tuned.

    Best wishes,
    Ross Gibson.

  2. hi! im a first year student, and i’m really keen to join in the project but i dont know how?? and i didnt want to just take some space from someone accidentally. is there an initiation or time everyone meets???

  3. Hi Liam
    good to hear from you.

    We usually garden every Tuesday, so that’s a good time to come down and tell us about your ideas… and we can walk you through the garden and let you know where the good spots are! If you want to email in advance then contact us at info@tending.net.au

    The general philosophy is that no space is sacred or outright “owned” by an individual… as well as a requirement for people to work with respect for what has been established already. So as long as you are ok with those ideas (and it sounds like you are) then you’re welcome!


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