Tales from the Suburban Garden: The Murarrie Neighbourhood Garden Project: Constructing Community Cohesion through Horticultural Practice

Doctorate other than PhD


Hethorn, Therese. 2022. Tales from the Suburban Garden: The Murarrie Neighbourhood Garden Project: Constructing Community Cohesion through Horticultural Practice. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Creative Arts (DCAR). University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/w8v17
Title

Tales from the Suburban Garden: The Murarrie Neighbourhood Garden Project: Constructing Community Cohesion through Horticultural Practice

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorsHethorn, Therese
Supervisor
1. FirstDr Kyle Jenkins
2. SecondDr David Akenson
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Creative Arts (DCAR)
Number of Pages270
Year2022
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/w8v17
Abstract

This practice-led research, as an example of social practice, will culminate in the development of a community project in the form of sustainable garden plots. The proposal has unearthed the following questions. Is it feasible to foster an altruistic engagement process with neighbours and others in the broader suburban community for the purpose of building companionship and security? Is it also possible, to create a garden as ‘artwork’, being an activity that relates to the everyday? To support this research and answer these questions, the theories of Relational Aesthetics and participatory practice and theory are engaged as they are the theoretical frames that position the outcomes of the research within contemporary artistic discourse. The creative objective was demonstrated through collaborative and cohesive exercises of shared stories and memories and shared garden produce and or products yielded from plant life. Oftentimes these shared products were matured through sustainable and historical horticultural practices. The intention of engaging others in a participatory exercise was to establish a community network for connectiveness that potentially could extend beyond our respective garden gates to permeate other neighbourhoods. The rationale was to unpack the concept of the encounter and to acknowledge the importance of maintaining memberships within a social network. Through this research it emerged that staying connected is a necessity for personal wellbeing, this proved significant, as the project was developed during the period of a global pandemic that saw long periods of enforced physical distancing.

This paper discusses the research objectives in creating lasting social networks substantiated by relational and participatory art principles promoting participants’ engagement with their garden spaces and other residents to assist others, to develop a healthier sense of self and to build personal resilience, through a sustainable form of community identity.

KeywordsParticipation; community; the garden as art; exchange; engagement; neighbourhoods
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360699. Visual arts not elsewhere classified
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Creative Arts
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