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The art of the edible in Melbourne, Australia

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Grow your own: Shawn Ashkanasy (left), and Justin Hutchinson in their NGV garden. Photo by James Boddington.

Vessels concocted from former advertising banners, concrete and plastic

By Megan Backhouse
Sydney Morning Herald
November 28, 2013


Composed of edible plants growing out of vessels concocted from former advertising banners, concrete and plastic, this living exhibit will be tended and harvested over the next four months as part of the wide-ranging exhibition, Melbourne Now.

Devised by the design consultancy Urban Commons, the installation is both an ephemeral art piece and a practical demonstration of the ways in which edible gardening can foster community ties.

When Justin Hutchinson and Shawn Ashkanasy set up Urban Commons in 2011, Hutchinson was living in an apartment in Brunswick with two young children and no garden, while Ashkanasy was working in the kitchen of a Flinders Lane restaurant that threw out vast amounts of food waste.

Both say they felt a keen sense of removal from the food cycle and from the communities that are forged around such processes as food growing, harvesting and composting. So, having each studied industrial design, the pair set about devising ways to create edible urban gardens that also function as social spaces.

Until now, their edible-social installations have predominantly been temporary, but now they have come up with a set of planter boxes that can be installed long term.

Read the complete article here.

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