Blue Monday

Opening of Tumulus Hermitage

21 sep 2020

In July and early August 2020 an ornamental hermitage, built from compacted earth-bags and discarded home improvement detritus (collected on the streets during the pandemic), was constructed at the centre of the Tumulus, slightly sunk into the earth.

This one-person hide-out and end times shelter is fronted by a door with a two-way peephole. Here in the city centre, you are invited to step back, turn in, turn off and savour solitary time. The Tumulus hut is a place of contemplation, introspection and retreat: an opportunity for a re-set.

The tumulus hut is a place to pause, turn inward, and prepare for what is coming. You are invited to join artist Ruchama Noorda for the opening ceremony.

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Blue Monday performance - Tumulus Pictures by Victoria Ushkanova

Pouches containing a selection of the healing herbs grown on the Tumulus mound will be hung at the entrance and are available for use. Visitors can choose a mix suited to their immediate needs: to counter sadness and loneliness, to channel rage and anger, to listen to their inner voices or to realize their inner wishes, to sink into the ground, or to tune out into silence.

Tumulus is an enclosed garden installation that functions as a natural ruin, compost heap, soil sculpture, seedbed, earthwork, dyeing source, and dunghill. Over the course of several seasons from June 2019 onwards, artist Ruchama Noorda transforms the patch of greenery next to our Sluisdeurenloods into a living sculpture and performance site.

The Tumulus lot is alive with weeds and herbs seeded by the wind or deliberately planted. The woad (lsatis tinctoria) which was planted last year has now (August 2020) been partially harvested and used to make woad dye and root-leaf-and-seed medications. On September 21st, 2020 (Autumnal Equinox/Blue Monday) Noorda will perform a ceremony using extracts from the planted woad.

Read more about the installation here.


Blue Monday by Ruchama Noorda
Monday, the 21st of September
Start 19:00
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam

Free Entrance / RSVP