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  • Writer's pictureSuzy Costello, workbooks

Mid semester break, 30 Mar-20 Apr 2020

During the 4 week lockdown I presented a site specific installation in Eastbourne, made more wooden stools and completed the Art in Context dissemination strategy essay.


I thought it would be nice to share an art installation over the Easter weekend with the Eastbourne community who are enjoying a lot of outdoor walking during lockdown.

My intention was to mark the site where I had collected the pōhutukawa stamen during summer, by placing felted bricks of stamen under the trees. It would speak to a time before Covid-19 traveled the globe and disrupted all our lives, perhaps offer a moment of reassurance to viewers in the passing of seasons and allow them to find beauty in the discarded pōhutukawa stamen.

Review and feedback: A number of people commented positively on the the display as I was making it and after, when out walking, people mentioned how much they enjoyed it. I posted it to the community facebook page and it received 38 likes and comments ("inventive", "beautiful").

When I went back the next day to remove it a child had played with the stamen and deconstructed the bricks. This was surprisingly satisfying and reminded me of Felix Gonzalez-Torres' Untitled (Placebo) 1991 - an installation of thousands of silver-cellophane wrapped candy placed on the gallery floor and visitors were invited to eat them! During its installation in South Korea a group of art students broke with social convention and took all the candy from the gallery (the event was captured on film and the students returned the candy after discussions with gallery staff). Gonzalez-Torres' invitation to viewers to intervene with the artwork presupposed viewers would behave within the norms and conventions of social etiquette however the students challenged this assumption, elevating the viewer's role in the installation by giving themselves the power to destroy the artwork.


Four more wooden stools have been prepared ready for assemblage. I have spoken with the vicar of St Alban's church and he is happy for me to display them outside the church entrance.


  1. Circular seats were handsawn from a large section of the pōhutukawa trunk.

  2. Legs were formed by sawing a long branch in half and axing each half into 6 pieces (3 per stool).

  3. Using an adze, the top of each leg was fashioned to fit snugly into a 2.5mm hole in the seat.

  4. Three female holes will be machine drilled into the underside of each seat once I return to Massey and will be positioned 120° around the centre of the seat and drilled at an angle of 12° pointing towards the centre. This ensures stability.

  5. Once done, the leg bottoms will be trimmed to level the stool.

  6. Gorilla glue will be added to the seat holes and legs hammered firmly into the cavity.

  7. A weight will be placed on top of the stool to ensure legs are firmly attached.

  8. Once completed a wax sealant will be painted on the wood to reduce cracking and splitting.


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