let the nutmeg dry

Nutmeg was once considered the “Holy Grail of Spices”; worth its weight in gold, it was a symbol of luxury and prestige. Until the 19th-century, the world’s only source of nutmeg was the Banda Islands —a tiny archipelago in today’s Indonesia— imagined by Europeans as a luxuriant
tropical Eden.

In the 17th-century the Dutch controlled all the islands except one, Run, an islet claimed by the English. In their urge to keep the nutmeg monopoly, the Dutch agreed to cede Manhattan (back then called New Amsterdam) to the English in return for Run. After this hype, the spice started loosing its value and Banda got forgotten.

Let the nutmeg dry is plays with fact, fiction and storytelling to represent the imagined materiality of the Banda islands. The textiles have been hand dyed and screen printed with patterns reminiscent to  the dutch colonial traces on the islands. The work integrates silk, bamboo and recycled plastic to comment on changes of material value and the new material ecosystems of Banda.

art    atelier    next︎