Backyard Biodiversity: wildlife monitoring in schools and communities

WHO: This exhibition was made in collaboration with the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group, Landscape Connection's Trust and DOC, and showcased the Backyard Biodiversity project, which saw primary and secondary students from schools around Dunedin conduct monitoring experiments in school yards and backyards to discover their local biodiversity. This exhibition was a collection of their creative responses to this citizen science project.

WHERE: The exhibition was held in the foyer of the Dunedin City Council building in early November 2015, to coincide with Conservation Week.  

WHAT: The Backyard Biodiversity project engaged students in ecological monitoring techniques, collecting data about what species were found where and fostering dialogues about the interactions between New Zealand's native species and invasive pest species. 

In contributing creative work to this exhibition, students were given very few boundaries, which resulted in a very varied body of work, which necessitated some creative use of The Sandpit. Posters, information sheets, and drawings were mounted either on a plywood board or were directly attached to the panel frame or wires using tape or twine. Boards were tied to the panel frames using ropes, which were strung across the panels. 

Sculptures were tied onto the frame, as were notebooks and soft toys. Displays of monitoring equipment were blu-tacked onto the frame and onto plywood boards. Adjacent to The Sandpit, the surrounding walls were used to mount posters and drawings. 

This exhibition used no plinths, light boxes, iPads or screens, and is a good example of how quickly and easily work can be displayed using The Sandpit