In September 2022, Eline De Clercq started a community garden for and by students and artists at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. The Sympoiesis Garden is a three-year artistic research project on art and ecology and functions as a non-formal learning environment about climate change, gender norms, decolonisation and intersectionalism.
The Sympoiesis Garden is non-human-centred.
It's doesn't have to be beautiful.
It doesn't have to provide fruits or flowers or any other goods.
It doesn't have to look finished.
It doesn't have to collect rare or special species.
It doesn't have to be big or small.
It doesn't have to prove anything.
It is not about humans, it is about ecology and we are a part of it.
It gives an overspill.
It has its own system.
It can make you feel at home.
It can steal your time.
It can make you forget about yourself.
It has many gardeners, only some of them are residents.
It escapes languages, classifications and definitions.
It is always changing.
It is temporary.
It was there before you.
You can lose it.
The garden group meets weekly to garden and restore ecology within the gardens of the Royal Academy. All students, staff, researchers and alumni are welcome to join this community. We want to keep the group open and inclusive, and create a safe space for everyone to join, focussing on the work we do and the changes we want to make.
On Instagram we communicate where we'll be and what we will be doing via the profile @royalacademyantwerpgarden