What if the garden is our teacher?

We come together to create an edible labyrinth in the city; learn to grow food in a mutually supportive way; care for our bodies while we care for the land; make a point in biodiversity and seed resources, generate new local networks between artist, farmers, permaculturists, residents while learning by doing.

The title of the project is inspired by the method of growing three mutually supportive plants together corn, beans, and squash. The corn supports the beans, the beans add nitrogen, and the squash shades out the weeds. We are adding sunflowers to the equation for bee attraction and wind protection, hence the name Four Sisters. It also takes inspiration from the works of land artist Agnes Denes, whose ecological installations such as Wheatfield (1982) are an important frame of reference.

Four Sisters is an eco feminist art project and a community garden initiated by Marija Šujica, Müge Yilmaz and The Beach in collaboration with Emiel Wolf. In 2021 it grew in the shape of a labyrinth in the Nieuw-West district of Amsterdam (Tuinen van West). The garden created a contextual space for art, social gatherings, and performances during the summer of 2021. In 2023, we are making a new edition with new experiments: working with the wilderness. While we still work with the usual crops such as pumpkins, corn and newly potatoes, we are paying more attention to what is already there: the wild.

The development of Four Sisters is funded by the Mondriaan Fund (Projectinvestering kunstenaar), the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK) and the Stadsdeel Nieuw-West in 2021. In 2023 we are supported by Fonds voor Nieuw West and thanks to all donations received via VoorJeBuurt.