THE SEAMSTRESS – A commission supported by the Amsterdam Art Fund
The bronze outdoor sculpture The Seamstress is a commission by Amsterdam centre inhabitants to Caroline. The Seamstress commemorates the radical transition of an Amsterdam city centre street, the Bergstraat. The Amsterdam Art Fund (Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunsten) supported the project.
History as a starting point – Side streets in the canal zone, such as the Bergstraat, were often neglected and disconnected from the rich canal dwellings, streets that you’d rather avoid. In the last decades of the 20th century, window prostitution, squatting and sales of drugs in the street pushed the Bergstraat asked a lot of the typical Amsterdam tolerance. In 2010, the County Council ended hundreds of years of prostitution in the Bergstraat. The city of Amsterdam seconded by street inhabitants carefully redesigned the street to a green, residential micro-environment. Playing children and tourists taking pictures still surprise the longstanding street inhabitants.
What the Seamstress represents – Street inhabitants decided the radical change needed to be marked and gave Caroline a commission. After careful consultation, inhabtitant chose The Seamstress for the commission. The Seamstress’ features stand for the then flourishing textile industy in the neighbourhood as well as the prostitution; the roughness of the surface represents the neglect of the street, the building foam used for the model adds modernity and finally the 17th century clothing of The Seamstress reminds of the very early days of the Bergstraat.