Holidays supplied by Liza Anton Ellis


Liza Anton Ellis has generously supplied holiday devices for the hardworking structures that are placed (quite against Their will) in public spaces. Apparently a holiday is as good as a change, or so they say.

bin tent at night, RMIT Brunswick
The tents project was born mid 2004, has been installed twice and has a big future ahead. It's conception has startling timing similarities to an outing with Blindspot, the "international artists" of the 2004 Next Wave Festival, Where I sat in a temporary plastic room at the Myer music bowl with 2 artists and discussed public space.
Liza Anton Ellis* suddenly realised one day that the public structures and fixtures that serve us never get a break, never mind a weekend.
With this in mind, she asked the Association of Public Structures (AOPS)** to act as the distributor for the considerable funds she felt was warranted to give proper thanks.
A suitable manufacturer was located who was able to custom design and build the tents. After consultation with an Industrial Designer, bamboo garden stakes were chosen due to price and physical ease. Fluorescent nylon was chosen for the outer fabric for visibility and safety. With light bollard and plant tents to be covered with a netting. Two designs were chosen that suited the structures but allowed for public safety with the absence of guy ropes. Because of this vital design difference to your average tent, a mechanical engineer and two architects were brought in to consult on structure. The importance of bracing was learnt and the tents were manufactured to the new specifications.
original tent: sheltering a tired jug
photo of first tent  
The August Annual at RMIT Brunswick was the first available testing location. Discussions were had with the coordinator who in turn had discussions with the campus manager. Sites chosen had to be strictly adhered to and underground irrigation pipes to be stayed well away from.
drawings of measurements for Brunswick tents drawings for measurements of Brunswick tents
drawings for measurements of Brunswick tents
The test of 4 tents was successful and they all lasted the full month (with only one small man-made breakage that was quickly fixed during a regular inspection). It is safe to say that a rather large percentage of the campus users had no idea of what to make of the temporary structures. That said, reports from the 4 lucky recipients were glowing and each one felt they were much more relaxed after their holiday***.
central courtyard view, RMIT Brunswick bollard tent view with man
photo of grate and bin tent photo of small plant tent
grate tent at light small plant tent at night
After hearing of the success of the Brunswick holidays, similar structures at RMIT Bundoora requested a number of holidays to be awarded. During Spring Intervention, the number of tents was almost doubled to 7 and were manufactured and installed with confidence. The only difference of the more bush-like setting was that much longer tent pegs were needed to secure the tents. Consultation through the coordinator with property services revolved more around rubbish collection and public safety.
small plant at Bundoora Campus 2 grate tents
very small plant tent bin tent
tall plant tent large grate tent
The Associations disaster plan was put in place when it was discovered less than a week into the holiday that 3 of the 7 tents had been removed. It soon became clear after discussions with grounds people and security that they had been, in fact, stolen. Laminated signs were put in place at the affected structures appealing for information. None has come forth****.
stolen tent sign missing tent sign
reward for stolen tent sign missing tent sign near plant
The Association is committed to providing holidays for all it's members. Discussions are currently underway regarding the logistics of providing a holiday lottery to the Buildings Sub-Committee. Developers will be contacted, with the current thinking being that buildings during makeovers (or renovations, partial demolition etc), already covered in shadecloth, could, in fact be seen to be on holiday. Details will be posted on the website as the discussions progress. The smaller tents that have already been used twice will be put to service in Lizas old haunt, Fitzroy. Once again, reports will be uploaded onto the website.
*Liza Anton Ellis: benefactor and philanthropist, among other things
**The Association's website outlines its Charter and Constitution as well as the sub- committees that make it up.
***see the formal reports and letters of thanks on AoPS website
**** will take anonymous leads

© content & images Cathy Parry 2004

© small plant image Kathleen McCann 2004


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