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Sew the Story of your Seed

Sew the Story of your Seed

As part of an art exhibition planned to take place at the end of the project, the biodiverSEEDy project is making a patchwork quilt for all the seeds that are frozen in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and reconnect them with stories of their history, context and culture. For this, we are asking people to sew us the story of their seed.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a frozen vault deep inside a mountain on the arctic island of Svalbard. It holds seeds from all around the globe. Hundreds of thousands of varieties of our important crop plants are stored there – seeds from different types of wheat, corn, canola, oats, rye, sorghum, millet, quinoa and many more. These seeds are deposited in the Vault as ‘back up’ copies in case the collections held by the world’s genebanks are destroyed by natural disasters or social disruption (e.g. flood, power outages, war). The Vault acts as a kind of safety net for world’s collections of seeds.

At the moment, the information that accompanies these seeds in their freezer is a number, a name, a collection location and certain physical characteristics. They lay frozen there in the heart of a mountain deep in the arctic separated from their context, their history, their ecology, their culture.

The biodiverSEEDy project therefore wants to make a quilt to warm these frozen seeds and reconnect them with their stories, their context, their culture.

So we invite you to sew the story of your seed and send it to us so that we can make a patchwork quilt to deposit in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. We welcome patches from all around the world to help us sew a beautiful blanket capturing the spectacular richness of our global crop biodiversity.

To contribute, just sew the story of your seed on a 15x15cm square of cloth. It can be in any style, colour or material you prefer.

Send your square, together with your name and location before September 30th 2017 to:

Sew the Story of your Seed

GenØk Centre for Biosafety

PO Box 6418

9294, Tromsø


Images of each patch received will be photographed and displayed on social media and at the biodiverSEEDy art exhibition in Svalbard at the end of 2017. (If you prefer your piece to remain anonymous, please note this with your submission).


You are welcome to follow us and watch the story unfold on Instagram by clicking here.