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Monday, March 23, 2015

Building One Library / Carrington Asylum Dining Hall



As part of Building One Library’s orientation initiative to welcome new and returning students to Unitec, we put together a display in front of the Building One Library to highlight the significance of the space that the Building One Library occupies.

Included in the display is information about what the library space once used to be and we also included work by Annie McIver. There is also a brief introduction to our staff at Building One Library and information about where research material for the display was sourced from and how to access this research from the library.

The Dining Hall and Kitchen, Carrington Asylum




Fig. 1 Ground Floor Plan, Auckland Lunatic Asylum as Erected, 1887


The Building One Library occupies a space that was once the dining and kitchen area of the Carrington Asylum, 1865-1992 (Fig 1).[1] Apart from Floor plans, it was difficult to find any images of the kitchen and dining hall during the time that Building One was an Asylum. We then directed our attention to any writings about the experiences recollections, stories or writings of past patients’ of Carrington Asylum and we came across the work titled Derelict, 2010 by Annie McIver. (Fig. 2)

 

Fig 2. Derelict, white earthenware, brass base, glass dome, 35x18x18 cm, Annie McIver, 2010

McIver is a practicing ceramicist and was a Masters student at Unitec (2012). Within the scope of McIver’s research she looked at the history of Building One and created work that referenced Building One’s history. McIver writes in her thesis that “The work ‘Direlect, 2010’ was a direct response to reading ‘Faces in the Water,’ ” by New Zealand's most distinguished writer Janet Frame[2]. Frame wrote about her incarceration in Seacliff Mental Hospital, Dunedin and Carrington Asylum, Auckland[3]. It was important to display the work Derelict, 2010 as an example of past students work and Building One’s history. The sculpture describes a time and the recollected spatial experience of Carrington Asylum’s incarcerated where Frame’s stories were referred to, culminating in the making of an object that conveys the desperate sense of confinement and loss experienced by Frame during her time spent in Building One.