The work All is well in the garden approximates what happens when the soil is dug out from under our feet, when we experience the traces of the past and are confronted with material residues of passed times. Materials that can be stored limitedly, or that will perish once excavated. All is well in the garden tells a story about the history of Dutch peat landscapes and offers a different possibility to observe this landcape, namely, in a garden: a place that is thoroughly cultivated by human hands and minds. The work speaks to the way imagination connects our bodies to place and space, for, ultimately, “life is a state of mind.”
Josje Hattink (b. 1990, NL) is a The Hague-based artist. After completing her BFA at the Royal Academy of Art The Hague in 2012, she has worked on multiple projects revolving around a central question within her work: when one digs a hole, does that automatically generate a mound? And vice versa? Currently, Hattink is undertaking an MFA at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, where she continues her research into the geographical and cultural history of Dutch landscapes. Her work translates and reverbalises scientific knowledge about the about the formation and expectations of landscapes, drawing from conversations within local communities. This manifests through a variety of mediums, to question the historical and current effects of moving large masses of soil across the surface of the earth and the traces this has left in nature and culture visible today. Cutting up the material under your feet to create new land to live on: peatlands, polders, dunes, dikes, the Sand Motor, and so forth and beyond. In essence it all comes down to digging a hole and simultaneously creating a mound.