Looking at the Garden Fence is an art project initiated by Vivienne Bessette and Derya Akay across the growing season of 2021, for which they invited a group of artists, neighbours, organizers, and gardeners to collectively create an exercise on urban agriculture, neighbourhood organizing, and friendship. The project is centred around four urban garden spaces in Vancouver—Sahalli Park Community Garden, Elisabeth Rogers Community Garden, Harmony Garden X̱wemelch’stn pen̓em̓áy, and Garden Don’t Care—and the communities that care for them.
To conclude the project, a website designed by Christian Hernandez-Blick and Salem Sharp, with assistance from Syed Haris, brings together documentation from the project’s numerous contributors:
Adassa Brooks, Anita Devi, Conor Fanning, Cristian Hernandez-Blick, Damla Tamer, Dana Phillips, Daniel Mendoza, Dean Jackson, Derya Akay, Grayson Truong, Haruko Okano, Ingrid Figueroa Manelik, Jaz Whitford, E. Kage, Moses Ayamega, Mt. Pleasant Neighbourhood House, Nil Alt, Salem Sharp, Senaqwila Wyss, TJ Felix, Vines Art Festival, Vivienne Bessette, and Zion Greene-Bull.
As part of the project, a recorded conversation with T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss, Jaz Whitford, Heather Lamoureux, Vivienne Bessette, Ingrid Figueroa Manelik, and Derya Akay reflects on the question “How was your growing season?” at Harmony Garden is located in X̱wemelch’stn / Squamish Nation Capilano Reserve.
Looking at the Garden Fence was funded by the Canada Council for the Arts. Additional programming support was provided by the BC Arts Council, Vines Festival, the Contemporary Art Gallery, and Western Front.