THIS SITE WAS CLEANED

Possibly not the most beautiful page for you to peruse, yet a necessary, vital and fundamental aspect to this time on earth. Humans, we are so damn messy.

Myself and a group of wonderful humans traipsed through the gravel, bricks and broken bits to collect human made detritus.

We chose not to collect broken building bits - our job would have escalated exponentially. Our vacant lots were a catchment area and rubbish dump for a myriad of bags, takeaway food wrappings, building materials, glass bottles, parking tickets ... the list is as long as the single use shit we continually choose to produce and use.

We filled 26 rubbish bags in a subtle gesture of love and care towards our shattered city. This simple act of cleaning, invested time and attention into a space most commonly referred to as “messy’, ‘abandoned’, ‘rubble-strewn’, ‘sad’ and ‘broken’.

Some of the loveliness that occurred were countless “thank-you’s” and “good jobs”, people offering help and one lovely lady purchasing us muffins from C1 cafe. I also heard a story from a friend that her father saw me collecting rubbish and thought I was doing community service - dressed in my drab green overalls I did look the part. Yet he thought I looked too happy to be performing such an act”. Happy I was. It really is special to give to your city.

 

MANCHESTER STREET • 19.7.2013

This site was the best best best! The foundations were present which made an epic path over the puddles that formed because of the spring! Yes! A spring was bubbling up from somewhere deep below - or maybe it was a broken pipe? The pioneering species who cropped up here included many plants who don’t mind wet roots - I can’t remember what but I do know some species growing here: Californian poppy • willow • geranium • various grasses • prunus • calendula • clover • dandelion • buddleia • ragwort • the list goes on!

Finding these McDonalds wrappers, cig butts and V cans, it appears those that don’t look after their bodies, don’t look after their planet.
— Damian

CNR. MANCHESTER & ST.ASAPH STREET • 24.7.2017

This site was super scraggly, the compacted clay and shingle prevent all but the gnarliest weeds to pop up. A groovy teal pond looked like a poison pit most likely found in sci-fi and there was an ew portaloo onsite too. At the back though, we did sight some Alyssm, Geranium, Calendula - likely candidates to be added in a wildflower seed mix. We did not sow this spot but likely someone else did, the network spoke of a few individuals who dispersed seeds throughout our city.

 

CORNER OF HEREFORD & HUANUI LANE • 11.8.2013

I really enjoyed this site, it had a wild / adventure vibe to it. The gravel was super deep and the plants big, gnarled and spikey. If you crept around the fence - to clean up of course - you could clamber over the concrete corner of a fallen building.

CNR. MANCHESTER & TUAM STREETS • 16.7.2013

Quite possibly the prettiest site clean conducted. The wild ecosystem was full of big, textural wispy plants that hoovered over a lush carpet of ground covers. Over the seasons, these plants changed between were tinted with browns, greens, silvers and reds with a rainbow peppering of flowers. The colours and textures offered a soft, abundant, dreamy eye-scape which was often full of birds who were feasting on the abundance.

This site was next to C1 Cafe and a lady came out towards the finishing of our tidying and handed us these two paper bags - filled with muffins!

She said we had been cleaning since she had entered the cafe an hour ago and she wanted to give us some fuel.

“Thank you so much, you are doing such a good job!” She called as she left.

Magic happens when you take action.

16.7.2013_30.jpg