If Australia is one day to become a republic then a new style of gardening to accompany a new style of governing seems possible. The three Broaching Change brooches have the symbolic potential to promote the social value of gardens as reflecting notions of community, that is the essence of republicanism.
The social aspects of gardening can be seen in community gardens, but these are not for everyone and much gardening is done within a residential setting. Many gardeners specialise growing what they love most, sharing any excess produce. With the potential for future transport, production and financial crises the garden as a producer of plants for use becomes more and more relevant.
This project seeks to engage with ideas to promote a model of gardening whereby a small micro community comes together in order to share their specialist plants or produce with others in that community for free, with no requirements for reciprocality. The symbolic connotation of giving altruistically has the potential to bring a system of sharing into existence at a local community level rather than on a more familial, friend or close neighbourly level where goods are often given freely.
How does it work?
The brooches, like the concepts inherent in the project are free – permanent ownership is not possible. Circulating in the wider community to generate discussion about the notions imbedded in them, a proviso for those who gain custodianship of the works is that various covenants be adhered to. These are outlined in a small manifesto that accompanies each brooch. Through promising to engage in the conditions required of the project, honesty and trust is required of the temporary owners as well as me the maker in giving over my work to an unknown end. There are no full proof guarantees this will happen but a leap of faith is sometimes required in order to bring about change.
The brooches are to be passed on if a viewer actively engages the wearer about the brooch and agrees to the covenants applying to the piece. On receipt of the work the new owner must visit the blog in order to indicate their temporary ownership and to participate in the dialogue opened up by this forum. Following the piece’s life and contributing to discussions acts as a way for all involved to engage with the work beyond the time spent with it.
Photographs courtesy of FORM.