We are planning a temporary exhibition to be called "Payer-Weyprecht-Kunstinseln: Payer-Weyprecht Islands of Art". This project - which uses four green spaces in Payer-Weyprecht-Strasse (house numbers 24 to 29) as exhibiton spaces - was submitted to the relevant authorities in December, 2005.
Topical art in public space gives all inhabitants the chance of meeting others, of communicating with others, and of appreciating or criticising what they see: a process of awareness-raising is set in motion.
Garden art, and art in public spaces, are part of people ´s cultural identity in some parts of Europe: in countries such as Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, France, to name only a few. The gardens of Europe are being connected; even ORF, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, reports admiringly that this process is under way (http://www.hettuinpadop.nl/) - only in practical terms, initiatives aimed at revaluing garden art and art in public spaces move quite slowly in Austria. However, we may yet be able to convince the relevant authorities that less illustrious parts of the city, too, have a cultural identity that is relevant; events created by us may be yet able to set a new, sparkling agenda for the city of Graz, in the sense of Agenda 21. That final document of the Rio Conference of June, 1992 (UNCED), was signed by 170 states including Austria; Agenda 21 is a world-wide programme of action for the 21st century, for the protection of present-day and future generations.
Agenda 21 is a mandate of the world community to all governments and all citizens to commit themselves to ecologically sound, socially just and long-term development - not only in the area of environmental protection, but rather aiming at an all-inclusive positive development of all areas of life.
In public and private green spaces, garden art is to call attention to the many different possibilities that exist in this area, to help advance the Agenda process. Local groups, private owners of gardens, communal institutions, and artists are brought together: this will lead to a new cooperation between public authorities and the men and women in the street.
The first project in our programme "GardenArt in Public Space", in consultation with Stadtgartenamt Graz (the City Department for Parks and Gardens), is the re-design and revitalisation of Dr. Schlossar Park, in the 5th Borough (called Gries ) of the city of Graz.
THE GARDENLABYRINTH, a kind of maze is to be built consisting of box shrub (buxus sempervirens ) together with an installation. Hartmut Skerbisch and kunstGarten have been engaged in this project since early 2004. A workin progress.
In this way, this will provide a basis for an entirely new type of communication in and around green spaces: not only to create new ways of appreciating contemporary art, or garden art, but which will also promote an environment-friendly concept of gardening - which will benefit both man and nature.
Connecting private and public "spaces for garden art" in towns and villages by means of a "garden art trail" might open up new dimensions of cultural and informative dialogue.