Suburban Floral Association
8-19 March 2011
Station Square, Cnr Broadway & Remuera Rd, Newmarket Railway Station, Auckland
Over a 12 day period The Suburban Floral Association's Shopfront brought the Auckland suburbs' brightest blooms to a square in the inner city in the form of video screenings, installations, a flower arranging workshop and scheduled talks. The artists invited the public to bring along cut flowers and foliage, take away a cutting for their garden or just watch the event change and grow. The artwork revealed itself over time, inhabiting every available space and surface of its immediate and interior environs; a green space in a grey square.
Part of the Auckland Arts Festival 2011, Shopfront was an alternative gardening project that changed regularly in form – cinema, gallery, seminar space, front yard and living room. There was be a series of object installations staged during opening hours, joined by a series of events (listed in the next column, click on a link for more information). Like the suburban front garden, its form and configuration changed over time to accommodate the passerby and their incidental engagement - as well as those viewers coming to experience something of the suburban idyll within a space not normally given over to talks, workshops, gift giving and films. The work asks: can the blooms of the suburbs help pollinate fallow ground in the recession-hit inner city?
Suburban Floral Association is a collaboration between Auckland artists Monique Redmond and Tanya Eccleston.
Monique Redmond is an artist and teacher living in Mt Albert, New Zealand. She is interested in front gardens, flowering trees and blooms that occupy suburban spaces. The suburban context, its sites, architecture, planting and gardens are a source for installation and photographic works that both draw upon and document the lived spaces of her everyday. She is currently Programme Leader Visual Arts at the School of Art and Design, AUT University. She has initiated or exhibited as part of a range of major art projects both in New Zealand and Australia.
Tanya Eccleston is an artist, writer and teacher now living in Avondale, New Zealand. Her own interests as an artist are in working with social contexts and communities. She has recently immigrated to Auckland from Glasgow, Scotland where rhododendrons grow wild as weeds in the hills and no-one would dream of planting one in their front garden. Tanya was formerly Head of the Sculpture and Environmental Department at the Glasgow School of Art.
Shopfront was presented in association, and with the support of Auckland Arts Festival 2011. Our property partner for this project was Sunnyville Property Management. Thanks also to PR Renovations Limited and AUT.
Special thanks to:
Sasha Savtchenko-Belskaia for assistance with project coordination, Ariane Craig-Smith and all at Auckland Festival, Paul Redmond (PR Renovations - http://www.prrenovations.co.nz), Andy Thomson, Margaret Colligan, Janet Lilo, Marie Brittain, Robbie Fraser, Laresa Kosloff, Andrew Davidson (Loan Central, A&D), John Stevenson and Trevor Gordon (City Park Services - Kari St Nursery), Paul and Tieneke at VISIGN (vinyl - www.visign.co.nz), Graeme Bulling (Body Corporate, Station Square), Ashley Church (Newmarket Business Association), Wayne Cameron and Mac Redmond for your invaluable advice, assistance and contribution to Shopfront. To Carol Chen at Sunnyville Property Management for making Shop 6, Station Square available to us.
To our bloom spotters:
Mark Amery, Justin Andrews, Lisa Benson, Paige Bradley, Marie Brittain, Rachel Carley, Paul Cullen, Anne Downie, Norman Edgerton, Richard Fahey, Alicia Frankovich, Ceri Garland, Sandra Gorter, Colleen Hall, Glen Hayward, Sarah Hillary, Sophie Jerram, Ian Jervis, Blair Kennedy, Wussy Lala, Ema Lyon, Sally Mannall, Holli McEntegart, Gabrielle McKone, Andrea McSweeney, Diet Meyburg, Louise & Benji Meyburg, Lisa Middelberg, Rebecca Mitchell, Ceili Murphy, Margy Pearl, Amber Pearson, Annemarie Pickering, Paul and Judy Redmond, Joshua Redmond, Adrienne Roberts, Trish Scott, Jo Somerville, Harriet Stockman, Linda T, Mandy Thomsett-Taylor, Layne Waerea, Felicity West, Carolyn Williams - thanks for all your texts and emails and your enthusiasm!
And to Ian Jervis for sharing his mother's Philadelphus (mock orange) with us.
To our volunteers:
Liz Bird, Cathy Carter, Lauren Crozier, Charlotte Drayton, Joyce Forsyth, Michael Kennedy, Vanessa Kong, Colin Nairn, Alannah Pirrit, Franziska Poeschl (and Alex), Lydia Reusser, Chelsea Rothbart, Tanya Ruka, Deborah Rundle and Gemma Skipper.