Open Gardens – art experiment Part 1

The art experiment

Open Gardens are part of Spring in South Australia. For me this year they became an art experiment.


I recently met a friend’s friend at a housewarming and agreed to consider the idea of exhibiting in one of the SA Open Gardens events in my local area.

The date was immediately after SALA so it seemed a lot to manage. But hey, “Nothing ventured nothing gained.” It has been that sort of year. Not sure if you have noticed that too.



Before the appointed weekend I visited the garden and chose potential positions for the works. With rain forecast, these spots were fairly close to the main house for a quick rescue mission if needed. The garden itself was on a very steep slope and had a network of winding pathways through sloping bushland and lush plantings. Any rescue was not going to be quick.

On the Friday I wrapped 15 paintings in clear polythene purchased from the hardware store. I also purchased twine, S-hooks and hooks with a spring closing. It was an outlay of about $70 by the time I went back to buy more polythene.

You can see the wrapping on Shoreline Stretch

Early on the Saturday morning my husband and I were up at what felt like dawn, and by 7.15 we had packed the car with paintings. With the forecast in mind I looked at the sky. Does that seem an obvious thing to do? Sometimes the forecast can be wrong but as the light came up that day the sky was thickly overcast and rain was threatening.

It was time to abandon the outing and unpack the car. The art experiment was at risk of not running at all.

Flatness. Was there any hope? More about that soon.