A place for me to grow,
with roots deep in fertile soil.
Close to abundant sun and water,
I make home a patch of land –
With strong stems that reach far and wide,
my yellow petals blooming glossy and bright.
Surrounded by birds, bees, a dandelion or two,
this meadow welcomes me too.
Water me and I will grow like a field of flowers.

With his new narrative installation Water me and I will grow like a field of flowers artist Rik Dijkhuizen uses the topos of growing buttercups to reflect on care (what’s up, buttercup?), collective embodiment, invitation, self-realisation and the concept of the ‘Pflanze Mensch’. Here, human beings are understood as plants: bound but not determined by their roots, vulnerable yet able to persevere in the most challenging circumstances, and with a will to reach its full potential, a share of joy, as part of a larger ecology.

By growing five plots of buttercups across parks in Amsterdam and one in Groningen in spring 2021, Dijkhuizen used the idea of (maintaining) a garden as a way to create a (temporal) space where the metaphorical is realised: a place for wellbeing, both as an individual and as a collective. While the flowers beds had since gone, the photo works and video poem attempt to serve as a more lasting exposition, a peek into the crack between memory, utopia and fiction.

(Rik Dijkhuizen, Water me and I will grow like a field of flowers, 2021)