Postcards from the Peninsula: citizen sci-art


WHO: This exhibition grew from Jenny Rock and Lynn Taylor’s social art-making citizen science workshop in February 2016.  

WHERE: Held at Portobello’s Coronation Hall the community artwork expressed local perspectives on Otago Peninsula biodiversity, its value and how we protect it.

WHAT: Each postcard, handprinted by individual community members, also expressed their personal pledge to get involved in local conservation work as a citizen scientist. This included monitoring pest presence (installing and observing chew cards) or maintaining a rat trap and identifying the species caught. Critically, it involved sharing that data back with the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group, who were key collaborators in this project. On show with The Sandpit during the weekend was the conservation artwork of the Stewart Island community made in September last year. This acted to spread the inspiration between small rural(ish) communities.

More than 65 people made prints and pledges over the weekend, with 66% pledging to install and monitor a chew card in their backyard, 19% pledging to volunteer time with OPBG, and 15% pledging to maintain a rattrap on their property. Feedback is now flowing back, in response to a follow-up emails. The results are really encouraging! Many people have installed their chew cards and/or rat traps, and some have been reporting on chew marks (or lack there-of!) and rat tallies too.

The community artwork, ‘Postcards to the Peninsula’’, also proved popular! It was invited to be exhibited at the Almost and Island Exhibition with Otago Peninsula Aritsts Inc from 18-28 March in Macandrew Bay Hall.

The Sandpit hosted the exhibition here too. Next the Portobello conservation artwork will join with the Stewart Island's  artwork to make a two-part exhibition with The Sandpit to travel north to inspire Beyond Orokonui communities in their conservation plans. So watch this space!