Currently the popularity of gardening and allotments is rising both in the Netherlands and Germany and all over Europe, a consequence being the desire to grow one’s own fruit and vegetables.
Reasons for this development are quite diverse: mistrust in food, poverty as a result of the economic crisis, relaxation from work, the alienation of nature, etc.
I got fascinated by this phenomenon and curious when I heard that Leipzig (East-Germany) is regarded as the unofficial capital of allotments (=Schrebergärten).
Firstly, because the idea of the collective garden that governs itself was created there. Secondly, Leipzig is the city with the Europeans highest density of allotments (about 6% compared to 1.5% in German and other European cities).
In addition, allotments in the former GDR were of great importance socially, as well as regarding the production of fruits and vegetables. In the 70s and 80s “self sufficiency” was regularly spoken of. Gardeners were stimulated to provide for themselves and others. The names of products and slogans should have motivated and led people, but were also misleading. The re-interpretation of these, as well as today’s advertising slogans, was used as inspiration for the project A LLOT- a project developed in 3 parts:
Schollensystem – a reproduction
To document the approximately 270 allotment colonies or 32.000 allotment gardens seemed to be an unrealistic intention. Nevertheless to get an impression of their density in the city of Leipzig two maps were drawn:
1) Schollenkarte – a map showing the current situation, isolated from the rest of the city structure as a standalone system in the city with its own rules and laws.
2) Wachstumskarte – a map showing the emergence and growth of the allotments in the city over the past 150 years.
2014 Galerie Lokaal WV15, Amsterdam [NL]
2014 Spinnerei, Open Studio Halle 14, Leipzig [DE]
All prints are for sale as limited edition of 10 [+2AP]
Hahnemühle, Fine art Baryta print
Aluminum mounting in wooden frame