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O P E N   P R A C T I C E   
Joe’s Market Garden
Wurundjeri Land, Coburg
Summer, 2024.
Facilitated by Merri Cheyne, Stephanie Hicks, Peta Madgwick and Emily Simek.

Open practice was a series of three gatherings of artists and gardeners that centred around group conversations, peer support and skill sharing, developed in response to growing a crop of Japanese Indigo at Joe’s Market Garden.

Each event began with a conversation in response to a shared reading, where we considered ways of working in response to place, as settlers on stolen Wurundjeri Land, and as gardeners working alongside an organic farm and the Merri Creek.

We then gathered Indigo from the garden to prepare fresh-leaf dyes, and dipped fabric into an Indigo vat; a process that was repeated at each meeting. The Indigo blue colour deepens with multiple dips into the vat and was thought to reflect a process in layering knowledge through shared conversations over the course of the open practice series. 

Open practice is part of Patch-Work, an ongoing collaborative project that engages with the community garden as a place for collective practice.

Group readings:
1) Bruce Pascoe, Agriculture, chapter from Dark Emu: Aboriginal Australia and the Birth of Agriculture (Magabala Books, 2018), 13-67.
2) Val Plumwood, “Decolonising Australian gardens: gardening and the ethics of place.” Ecological Humanities, Issue 36, July 2005.
3) Aboubakar Fofana, “Beyond the Blueness,”  issue 3, Tatter. https://tatter.org/issues/articles/beyond-the-blueness/ 

Participants: Anna, Elodie, Mei, Iris, Tarone, Meredith, Natalie, Sandra, Eric, Kim, Lisa, Margaret, Correa, Linda, Linden, Meghan, Jacina, Alex, Mandy, Merri, Emily, Peta, and Stephanie.
Photographs: Emily Simek, images: 1, 2, 3, 7; Eric Jong, images: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9.