In 2012 Meindertsma
purchased the entire flax harvest of plot Gz59-west in the Dutch Flevopolder of Gert-Jan van Dongen: 10,000 kilos of fibre. Her ambition was to
produce a locally made collection from the crop. She started by spinning the fibre into the finest possible yarn to make table linen, and designed a collection of teatowels, napkins and
a tablecloth. The topography of the flax fields is used for the design of a Damask woven pattern; photographing the fields from a small hot air
balloon and turning the grid-like images
of the Flevopolder region into a woven teatowel.
The Flax project was
initiated by a commission from Thomas Eyck, it was the beginning of
what was to become a substantial and ongoing project. Flax is still grown by farmers in the coastal area that runs from
Normandy in France, via Belgium and Zeeland in the Netherlands and some in the
Felvopolder region, where the climate is wet and relatively warm because of the
gulf stream. Ninety percent of this European-grown flax is exported to China where
linen yarns and fabric are made from it. The main goal for the flax project was to investigate if locally-produced flax could
again become a commodity.
As an important part of the process
of documenting flax growing and
production Meindertsma commissioned film maker Roel van Tour to make a
series of films. Sixteen were made, each chronicling a specific stage of the process; from sowing seeds to hackling fibre, and from making paint to horses eating the seedpods.
SPECIAL CREDITS: Farmer Gert-Jan
van Dongen, Filmmaker Roel van Tour, Van de Bilt zaden en vlas, Textilelab