This was the research question posed by Paul Woodruff, currently a lecturer in the Design and Visual Arts department at Unitec Institue of Technology in Auckland as he undertook his Masters Thesis – Master of Landscape Architecture.
The project investigates possible uses and applications of fine art to Landscape Architectural site analysis practice. It does this by actively promoting an inter-disciplinary apporoach when advocating for sites that are neglected or have forgotten narratives. Painted and drawn and crafted representations are employed to draw out these narratives from a site which further encourages community participation.
Woodruffe proposes that through colloaboration instead of specialization artists and artworks can connect history with the present day in an interesting and thought provoking way which enriches our experience of landscape statesing “A shared experience usually carries more potential than a solitary one, and this is especially so when the experience is to be translated into planning or design. To illustrate this point two projects were undertaken on the North Shore of Auckland City, the first is Centennial Park in Campbell‟s Bay and deals with local history, the second at Kennedy Park also on the North Shore, explores boundary. In both cases it was move away from specialization as artist, historian, cartographer, photographer or landscape architect, it was the result of shared experience, collaboration, and as Gibson observes; “Information about the self accompanies information about the environment, and the two are inseparable.” (Gibson, 1979, p126).”
As an outcome of this collaboration there is now a Memorial Walkway that links these special previously uncelebrated places, the everyday collective laboratory is continuing in its aims to use art as a way to document and celebrate lesser known parts of Auckland and is currently involved in investigating the Rosebank Road Peninsula.