TUMULUS: Vegetative State, Growth Imperative, Dormant Lot, Healing Property and Blue Monday


Mediamatic Biotoop Dijkspark 6, 1019, BS Amsterdam By Mediamatic Foundation +31206389901  www.mediamatic.net


TUMULUS is an enclosed garden installation that functions as a natural ruin, compost heap, cement + soil sculpture, seedbed, earthwork, lo-tech fountain, drinking/ dyeing source, and dunghill. Over the course of 16 months from June 2019 to September 2020, artist Ruchama Noorda will transform the patch of greenery next to our Sluisdeurenloods into a living sculpture and performance site.


TUMULUS is a cyclical weed-woad restoration project in 5 parts:


  1. Vegetative State (June – mid July)
  2. Growth Imperative (mid July – October, with a dedication ceremony on Friday September 13, 2019)
  3. Dormant Lot (November – February)
  4. Healing Property (March – August)
  5. Blue Monday (Closing ceremony/celebration of autumnal equinox, September 21st2020)


On Friday, September 13th 2019, the artist, assisted by male witches, Vis and Walthert will perform a dedication ceremony inaugurating Phase 2 of the project. Visitors will be offered a libation made from weeds harvested from the Tumulus mound.


On September 21st, 2020 (Autumnal Equinox/Blue Monday) Noorda will perform a closing ceremony using extracts from the planted woad used in traditional Chinese medicine as a cure for the common cold and liver complaints, and in ancient Western and Southern European tribal cultures as a clothing dye and as war paint (Gaulish: glastium; Latin: Isatis tinctoria). E.g. the Picts (in Latin, literally the “painted ones”)- a confederation of Northern British Celtic language speaking peoples, according to Classical legend went into battle against the Romans, naked,  “dressed in woad ”.