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Free Store: Auckland


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The Free Store Auckland followed on from the highly successful Free Store project commissioned as part of the Letting Space series in 2010. The Auckland Council commissioned artist Kim Paton to develop the same project for West Auckland Communities but on a larger scale. The Auckland Council undertook the project collaboratively between the Arts and Community Well Being Teams for West Auckland.

Like the Wellington project a retail space on the main street of Henderson was converted into a temporary grocery store for a one month period, working with a wide network of businesses in the food industry in Auckland to donate food that for a variety of reasons would not be sold. This food was then offered free of charge at the Free Store, central to the project no bartering or exchange took place, customers were free to take as much or as little as they determined they needed but were asked to consider how much is left behind for who comes next.

The Free Store was a interactive social project aiming to question current norms within an economy based on supply and demand. Free Store aimed to make public a point in the supply chain that is usually unseen, raising discussion around how we define the value of a product and what we do with our waste. The Free Store, Auckland strongly sought to provide a temporary service to members of the community who are facing issues regarding food security. An aim of the project was to function as a trial in the hope of establishing a long term project.

Free Store Auckland was a large scale collaborative project involving frequent consultation with the community, 2 staff full time from Auckland Council for a 3 month period and over 30 volunteers. Over 30 businesses from the food industry contributed food to the Free Store on a daily basis and the store received unprecedented demands from the public, receiving hundreds of visitors every day.

The Auckland Council has now improved funding to continue the Free Store project for a 2 year period.

Item Type: Contribution to a Show/Exhibition
Uncontrolled Keywords: Free Store, Auckland, Auckland Council
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Kim Paton
Date Deposited: 18 May 2012 02:41
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 02:57

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