The SFA explore gardens and the botanical as forms of expression in the suburban realm, and in Park for a Day they made a temporary ‘landscape’ in a new large but vacant shop. Fabricated from stretched tarpaulins, rope, huge cable reels, concrete blocks, timber planks, many potted plants, pieces of furniture and large-scale photographic prints, this responded to a series of conversations with the Elders.

The park-like installation was an abstraction, a ‘not-to-scale’ test of possibility in which provisional materials were used to make spaces and shelters in which to eat, move, exercise, relax, gather and converse. As an example, the stretched-canvas ‘floating’ roof, under which we gathered to eat, provided a dry space where one might exercise daily outdoors despite the long, wet Auckland spring—an activity noted as desirable by the Elders who often live with extended family and lack their own social meeting spaces.

Park for a Day took place at the Merchant Quarter in New Lynn on 3 May 2014. Documented through photography, Park for a Day ‘staged’ multiple demonstrations of the potential use of public space for this particular group.


Collaborators & Credits

The Suburban Floral Association are artists Monique Redmond and Tanya Eccleston. With the Chinese Eco Elders of New Lynn, volunteer translators and staff from the Auckland Council Community Development team.