One of the key aims of First Thursdays is to enliven, celebrate and revitalise Sydenham. with a theme like 'Welcome to the Jungle', it was essential to get one of our city's key guerrilla gardeners and the powerhouse behind countless plantings involved.
Plant Gang was started by artist Liv Worsnop who graduated from University of Canterbury in 2012. It is an initiative that seeks to work with the current environments in Christchurch city. Vacant lots are not seen as demolition sites, but space for potential and growth, weeds are not seen as weeds, but as participants in our environment, beneficial to ourselves, animals, birds, the air and the soil. In taking this approach, Plant Gang seeks to open up the conversation about the relationship that may exist in an urban environment between plants and people.
Plant Gang articulates itself in the central city through different projects. These have thus far included, 15 site cleans, two catalogues of different plants growing in the central city, a Zen Garden, a Sage Field and many succulents and herbs, planted guerrilla style, around the central city. A project will be carried out if it is seen to engage with certain principles of Plant Gang, these include but are not limited to being subtle, environmentally light, highlighting plants within the environment and letting be what is.
"I have chosen to do this work because it is what I want to see in the city.
I want my own life and the life of this city to be truly connected to the environment, to be grounded, natural, organic, sensitive, giving and cyclic. Plants are this connection, they connect us to the ground, the sky, they connect us to ages old, to ourselves, to our surroundings, to organisms, both living and dead. "
As part of First Thursdays, and an ongoing project within Sydenham, Liv and Plant Gang will beautify a vacant lot and create a social space for the local community.
By planting bee-friendly herbs and flowers and acknowledging preexisting plants onsite, Worsnop plans to create a space that offers social as well as environmental benefits to the Sydenham community. Rewilding the Red Zone will be a 3 month long wild garden created and maintained by Plant Gang.
On the night, there will be sweet tunes to welcome you to the site and set the scene.
Would you like to take part in this project? You can join Plant Gang and earn your patch! Email Audrey at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
Big thanks to RDU and the Christchurch City Council for supporting this initiative!