The PARK LANDS PROJECT was a free one-day family friendly art, music and citizen science meets nature festival, located in Tuthangga / Park 17 on the 16 May, 2021 as part of the 2021 SA History Festival. This project continues with OSCA’s focus on creating innovative art events that connect people to places, history, community, and the local environment.
The Park Lands Project invited the public on a micro and macro journey of discovery, to creatively explore the biodiversity significance and adaptive nature of the flora and fauna living in the Adelaide Park Lands Bush For Life sites. The one day event also showcased the music of Naomi Keyte.
SA artists – Laura Wills, Rosina Possingham, Louise Flaherty & Belinda Gehlert, were commissioned to create a series of multi-media and audio artworks. Their outcomes offered new perspectives of the patterns, habitats and landscapes of the local flora and fauna. Each of the artists involved local schools and community groups in the development of their outcomes.
Kaurna elder Michael Kumatpi Marrutya O’Brien addressed how Indigenous people build their empirical knowledge of the natural environment through action and stories and acknowledged the recent cultural burn that had taken place in Park 17 in the lead up to this event.
The site-informed art installations, citizen science workshops plus nature walks and talks provided the public an opportunity to increase knowledge and skills in monitoring, conserving and protecting native plants and animals as well as bring greater recognition to the important and at times invisible local research and nature conservation work being undertaken in the area.
The patch is a nature journaling / art project that maps the local ecosystem of the gum trees in the Bush for Life site, Nantu Wama / Park 6. Working with students from Wilderness School, Rosina’s grassroots mapping approach has created a spatial key that allows one to visualise how the successive planting in the area between 1949 – 1997 has created a dense woodland and canopy not characteristic of the area. The local observations of the students include studies of the sky, tree trunks, buds, fruits and local fauna. The students collected both informal and formal data relating to characteristics of their chosen tree, including mapping where they were in the patch manually on a grid and through GPS recordings.
The collected gum mapping data is represented through a large-scale installation painted and etched onto clear acrylic panels made in collaboration with the students. This hangs together with a canvas work based on 3-D scanned mapping data of the eight species of gum trees from the patch as identified by Mark Scharnberg / Team leader – Arboriculture at Adelaide City Council. The works are linked through a colour coded key that connects the species. The canvas work activates to a 3D augmented reality experience through an Instagram filter built using SparkAR.
Special thanks to Wilderness: Year 5’s and Brooke, Lani, Ali, Neil Jensen, Mark Scharnberg, Matt Jorgensen, Adam Drogemuller, Jacqui Hunter and Paul Anderson.