The Inner Garden

de Appel Kunstjongeren. Photo: Jimena Gabriella Gauna

Step into a world in which you are not central, but the plant. An exhibition with work by the artists Farida Sedoc and Mirjam Linschooten curated by the Kunstjongeren, a pilot program involving Bella Lachman, Kiera Kuitenbrouwer, Florian Boon, Manisha Singh, Wobbe Wiedijk and Hannah Sewell.

Initiatied by de Appel and The beach, and active since September 2020, Kunstjongeren is also part of the development of a Children's Museum in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. Extending the de Appel’s renowned Curatorial Programme, a group of Amsterdammers (14 to 18 years old) have been experimenting with different forms of presentation and discovering what curating means to them. They did this during various sessions with their curatorial mentor Bas Hendrikx and the artists Farida Sedoc and Mirjam Linschooten.

Together with curator Bas Hendrikx, the young people explored what a curator is and does. Concepts such as sustainability and living with nature in the city are important topics that the young curators brought up. Together with artist internationally emerging local artist Farida Sedoc, the young people investigated what it means to be an artist and how this is connected to society and your personal life. The group analyzed why sustainability, textures and textiles are so important in their lives. They did this by making visual references to music, images and videos. An important reference for the young people was Stevie Wonder's 1979 album ‘Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants’ which revealed a common interest in nature and plants.

I can't conceive the nucleus of all
Begins inside a tiny seed
And what we think as insignificant
Provides the purest air we breathe

Excerpt from ‘Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants’ (1979)
by Stevie Wonder

Dutch artist and researcher Mirjam Linschooten introduced her view on plants and together with the young people she investigated the position people often take towards plants. What is real nature to you and how do we collect knowledge about plants? These were just some of the questions the youth discussed. "By turning the perspective and looking at people from the point of view of the plant, we become more aware of the relationship between people and plants and their shared impact." Here is a eye-opening idea that the Kunstjongeren themselves have given shape, says Linschooten. 'Emotion' as in a shared emotion between plant and people also played an important role for the young people. "A person pays attention and cares for something that moves her, the plant grows stronger, bigger, broader, and says, "The more of me, the more for you." In this way, emotion becomes an exchange of attention and oxygen. "

More information about when the Kunstjongeren exhibition will be open to the public will follow soon.