Promised Land Exhibition by Lucas + Sandvad Mengers

Promised Land

Identity, belonging, and the desire to escape to a new world. 

Berlin provides a utopian dream, a place in which to enrich existence, a refuge for the nomad artist and non-conformist ideals. The Berlin Office is an empty space born within this seemingly utopian paradise. 

The Berlin Office is a non-place. Exclusively developed for artists, you check in and you check out; your designated stay in the space controlled by a virtual calendar. This nothing space in which the artist resides provides a think tank; a neutral ground in which to impregnate with thoughts, ideas, and feelings. 

As The Berlin Office prepares to exist as an ordinary apartment once again, this final show presents artworks created by current members of the organisation. Based in Denmark, the USA and the UK, the artists abandon their virtual online management system and travel to the physical space of The Berlin Office, to leave one more artistic impression in the space.

What dreams do we impregnate in to these walls that we have so often imagined? What do we escape, what do we bring with us, and what do we leave behind?

Promised Land was curated by victoria Lucas and Line Sandvad Mengers, to mark the end of the The Berlin Office and its artist in residence programme. 


Victoria Lucas

Foto: Gavin Freeborn

Coat of many colors


My contribution for the exhibition was inspired by Dolly Partons hit song from 1969. 


The song tells the sentimental story of how a mother makes her daughter a coat from rags. Dolly Parton calls this one of her most autobiographical songs.


For the Promised Land exhibition at The Berlin Office, Berlin I made a coat out of pieces of fabrics I have collected over the years. The coat was made for my daughter Liva. She loves to dress up and when putting on dresses made from scarves and blankets she also creates a world of imagination where anything can happen. Putting on costumes is a way of playing with and creating identity. Clothing is a space you can bring with you. A space to provide you with confidence. 














From  Dolly Partons lyrics


Back through the years

I go wondering once again

Back to the seasons of my youth

I recall a box of rags that someone gave us

And how my momma put the rags to use

There were rags of many colors

Every piece was small

And I didn't have a coat

And it was way down in the fall

Momma sewed the rags together

Sewing every piece with love

She made my coat of many colors

That I was so proud of

As she sewed, she told a story

From the bible, she had read

About a coat of many colors

Joseph wore and then she said

Perhaps this coat will bring you

Good luck and happiness

And I just couldn’t wait to wear it

And momma blessed it with a kiss



My coat of many colors

That my momma made for me

Made only from rags

But I wore it so proudly

Although we had no money

I was rich as I could be

In my coat of many colors

My momma made for me


So with patches on my britches

Holes in both my shoes

In my coat of many colors

I hurried off to school

Just to find the others laughing

And making fun of me

In my coat of many colors

My momma made for me


And oh I couldn’t understand it

For I felt I was rich

And I told them of the love

My momma sewed in every stitch

And I told them all the story

Momma told me while she sewed

And how my coat of many colors

Was worth more than all their clothes


But they didn't understand it

And I tried to make them see

That one is only poor

Only if they choose to be

Now I know we had no money

But I was rich as I could be

In my coat of many colors

My momma made for me

Made just for me