Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Details

Lucas Ihlein & Diego Bonetto, Tending: a Garden Experiment, Sydney College of the Arts, from July 2010. RealTime Arts Magazine review here. Link to "Tending: a garden experiment" blog available here.



Research Background

This is a collaborative artwork located within the grounds of the Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. Ross Gibson, Professor of Contemporary Art, invited Lucas Ihlein and Diego Bonetto to create a garden on site at SCA, and to document the process via a blog. The project began in July 2010 and is ongoing. Tending asks, ‘what relationships and collaborative methods of tending are crucial to the sustainability both of a creative community and of a productive plot of agriculture within a contentious urban setting?’

Research Contribution

Tending risks being not-quite-art enough, and not-quite-garden enough. It sits on the boundary between the two, and this ambiguity is what enables new kinds of social interactions within the architectural and social space of the university art school. Taking a model of action and blogging previously developed by Ihlein and Bonetto (and inspired by permaculture, and Italian farming-art pioneer Gianfranco Baruchello), ‘Tending’ is an artwork under constant biological and social evolution.

Research Significance

Professor Gibson, who commissioned and funded ‘Tending’, writes: ‘The garden is a teaching environment designed to bring students and staff out into a semi-public site where they can learn through cooperative physical work as well as through critical reflection and analysis while interacting with an inter-disciplinary array of keenly interested academics, professional experts and local communities and councils.’

Link to publisher version (URL)