Botanical Fresco Restaurant Mokum NYC

For Restaurant Mokum NYC on Amsterdam Avenue Dutch artist Claudy Jongstra, recently named Visual Artist of the Year 2019, created Botanical Fresco. Mokum - from the Yiddish for place or safe haven, in The Netherlands the slang word for the city of Amsterdam - is an all-day cultural restaurant serving healthy, delicious, farm-to-table based dishes. A haven of warm hospitality on a busy day in the city offering internationally inspired dishes that are sourced locally.
In line with the truthful origin of ingredients Botanical Fresco serves up a landscape equally appealing to the senses, in which a lush palette of color from plant pigments constitutes each individual botanical portrait on the wall.
Tacit knowledge of natural dye recipes and techniques passed down for centuries are required to bring out the vibrant colorful riches hidden in nature. From the crops of Claudy’s small-scale organic farm, De Kreake in Friesland the comforting, healing, soothing, inspiring and vital pigments are brought to the table as if they were drawn from a previously hidden landscape. Each leaf, root, skin or shell from the madder, the woad, onion or walnut offers their warm golds, deep blues, soft pink tones or sky greys. Together making a bold contribution to the scene and embodying a graceful declaration of its significance to Dutch cultural heritage straight from the famous painters of the Golden Age.
Botanical Fresco is felted in silk, mohair, linen and an abundance of wool from the Drenthe Heath Sheep, the fiber that forms the vibrant basis of most of Jongstra’s monumental works of art. As in all her enterprises, Claudy Jongstra aims to contribute to preserving the rich natural world and enhancing biodiversity while creating meaningful and charismatic works of art. Early on, 25 years ago she realized the connection between the shepherd and his herd of grazing sheep and the important survival of the Dutch heathlands in the north. As with the initiative to propagate a variety of plant crops for pigments, giving a new use and value to the Drenthe Heath Sheep’s wool, thanks to the endeavors of Studio Claudy Jongstra a major impulse was given to the preservation of biodiversity in the agricultural northern provinces.

The mural Botanical Fresco was commissioned by Matthew Baird Architects.

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Restaurant MOKUM New York City, commissioned by Matthew Baird Architects, U.S.A. 2018
Size (m): 12.15 x 1.15
Material: Wool Drenthe Heath Sheep, Silk, Mohair, Linen
Pigments: Madder, Woad, Onion Skin, Walnut
Photo credit: Liz Clayman, Jeroen Musch and Studio Claudy Jongstra
https://vimeo.com/304571448
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Video Claudy Jongstra on new website Triodosbank NL

Studio Claudy Jongstra is thrilled to share our story with the world in a short film featured on the new Dutch website for the Triodos bank Nederland! The story went live on November 1, 2018 and features an intimate conversation in the studio with #ClaudyJongstra on her mission to preserve knowledge about natural colors and fibers in our fast-paced modern world. Discover how each Claudy Jongstra artwork embodies the collective wellbeing of our community and environment. Thank you: Triodos Bank Nederland Bas Berkhout #ClaudiaBusson #CJSapong Sacred Seeds Inc. team #StudioClaudyJongstra

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rooted - private residence NYC

For an elegant private residence in New York City this earthy colored, organic shape, Rooted, was created. Subtly contrasting with the classical architecture and sophisticated atmosphere the colorful richness of the fecund soil has been fused into a variety of rough and refined textures in natural fibers. The health and vitality of our biodynamic farm with its harvest of high-quality plant pigments radiate a golden light through these warm tones of beige, browns, russet and ochre.
Rooted, literally with its roots in the clay of the northern Netherlands and metaphorically deeply connected to the significant value of earth’s worthy treasures. The roots of the alkanet and the madder, the skin of the onion mixed with some walnut and indigo together seem to infuse the essence of life in this soft and charismatic layered structure of purest wool of the Drenthe Heath Sheep.
The artwork’s raw texture and organic gaps also recall root structures struggling on their path of growth. Contrasting layers referencing to the horizon between soil and sky and marking the divide on the voyage of plants as they burst through the earth’s crust and reach towards the sun.
At the same time as a whole Rooted resembles a landscape, in some patches rugged, in others smooth and flowing mirroring the surface of our planet. 
One gets the feeling a benign being seemes to have entered the room, carefully invading human territory with the best of intentions and nestling itself to stay, carrying a worthy message from earth’s inner sanctuary to the interior of a city dwelling.

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Private residence New York City, U.S.A. 2018
Size (m): 4.50 x 1.60
Material: Wool Drenthe Heath Sheep, Silk
Pigments: Alkanet, Madder, Onion Skin, Walnut, Indigo
Photo credit: Jeroen Musch
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living soil - skin of the earth

“Soil is in fact a very vibrant, living community.” Fred Kirschenmann, TEDx Manhattan, 2012
Soil is the living skin of the Earth...this very thin layer where life is possible. ‘Symphony of the Soil’

Living Soil is a dedication by Claudy Jongstra to the tremendous value and generosity of the living skin of our earth, the soil. Felted with the wool from the sheep at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and colored completely from the bounty of organic plants, roots and nuts from the fecund soil surrounding the studio and the farm in Friesland, The Netherlands. The composition of 8 felted works on wooden panels is striated, echoing the layers of soil in this living skin of the earth. It offers those viewing it or working beside the mural several great powers of organically grown produce. The warming golden yellow is released from humble onion skins during an old natural dye process, and welcomes and comforts you. The indigo supplies us the wisdom of transformation and the magical walnut dye, carrying its own mordant, infuses depth and solidity together with the ancient Dutch heritage pigments the madder root and the woad, all of them brought out fully thanks to the tacit knowledge of the ancient dyeing recipes. 
A mural radiating the great worthiness of our natural resources and celebrating the giving soil as the foundation of all life. Offering us so generously the nourishment critical for proper agriculture and a safe shelter until harvest time for delicious vegetables like here in the Pocantico Hills and brilliant dye plants on our fields in Friesland in The Netherlands.

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Stone Barnes Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocantico Hills, NY, U.S.A. 2018
Living Soil is donated to Stone Barnes Center for Food and Agriculture by Studio Claudy Jongstra
Size (m): 8 panels, 1.37 x 0.76 each, 6.09 m all together
Material: Wool Sheep Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
Pigments: Indigo, madder, onion skin, woad
Wooden frames, added natural acoustic material
Photo credit: Jeroen Musch
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restaurant one

Edible dye plants and rusted iron create the color palette for a pair of 'vertical gardens' hanging gracefully above the buzzing dining room of Restaurant ONE. This diptych by Studio Claudy Jongstra reflects the rectangular vegetable beds of the restaurant's on-site urban garden and the industrial origin of the historic ECI Cultuurfabriek. Restaurant ONE revealed her complete transformation on July 6th 2018.

Restaurant ONE is now the first public space in Provence of Limburg, the Netherlands with an artwork by internationally renowned artist Claudy Jongstra, a Limburg native!

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Dining room Restaurant ONE
Roermond, The Netherlands 2018
Title: Vertical Garden
Size (m): 6.00 x 1.70 - 4.00 x 1.70
Material: Drenthe heath wool, merino wool, mohair, silk, cotton
Pigments: Indigo, walnut, onion, alder cones, birch bark, sorrel, fir needles
Photo credit: Jeroen Musch and Martijn Kersten
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WOVEN SKIN

The World Premiere of Studio Claudy Jongstra’s monumental sculptural installation features an assemblage of sixty hand-felted textile artworks that evoke a primal architectural impulse. Over the past 20 years, Jongstra has built an artistic practice intertwined with Dutch cultural heritage and the natural cycle of her local environment in rural Friesland. Native Drenthe Heath sheep and a biodynamic dye garden provide both the material and inspirational foundations of her oeuvre.  The installation, in felt and steel, reveals a complex natural dye palette on its labyrinthine surface. The rich Dutch history of color enters into dialogue with contemporary issues of biodiversity, community, and dissemination of knowledge, particularly in relation to art-making and agricultural practices. The raw industrial factory space provides a provocative launching pad for the two-year international journey of WOVEN SKIN.

Hosted by the Waste No Waste Factory for European Cultural Capital 2018, we would like to thank Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds, Maharam, LF2018, Gemeente Groningen and Provincie Groningen for their support. Special thanks to Mr. Feike Sijbesma, an essential ally of the project, and CEO Royal DSM, the Dutch Life Science and Materials Science company active in health, nutrition and material research.
Location: Zeefgebouw (De Suiker), Energieweg 10, 9743 AN Groningen Coordinates: 53°12'39.4"N 6°32'37.0”E  
Open Tuesday till Saturday 11 - 17h and Friday, Sunday 11 - 19h Closed Mondays (except May 21) and Saturday, May 5
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Santa Maria dello Spasimo, Palermo, Collateral Event of Manifesta 12 in collaboration with Villa Valguarnera-Past Forward
Zeefgebouw (De Suiker), Energieweg 10, 9743 AN Groningen
Materials: wool of the Drenthe Heath sheep, merino wool, mohair, silk, cotton
Pigments: madder, cochineal, walnut
Photo credit: Jeroen Musch
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Metamorphosis of the Butterfly

Metamorphosis or transformation is the central theme of this work of art. The butterfly is the ultimate symbol of phenomenal transformation, as it breaks free from the grey chrysalis and unfolds its multicolored wings and morphs into an exquisite shape after several stages of development. For Native Americans, the butterfly has always been a symbol of change and balance, of transformation and freedom, of the state of sleep and dreaming and in general of good luck. 

The ample use in this extended butterfly wing of bluish from the ancient Indigofera also refers directly to the seemingly magical power of this pigment plant to provide transformation, coloring the woolen yarn magically when it is pulled from the indigo bath. The drab brownish green instantly turns into a divine blue under the influence of the oxygen in the fresh air. Transformation is essential to human development and comes about if there is an openness to receive and willingness to let this natural dynamic process take place. With the madder, a root that takes at least five years to develop into a full red pigment.

The Metamorphosis of the Butterfly is also about time as a positive and valuing the labor of love, of time-consuming techniques like hand embroidering writing its poetry forward in times to come. Both pigments indigo and madder were specifically chosen because they are treasures of the cultural heritage from the Dutch Golden Age when Rembrandt and Vermeer benefitted from these pigments in their paintings. By using them in contemporary art the pigment plants are preserved and embedded into modern times.

Looking at the lush colors and the multilayered sumptuous materials the passerby is invited to think about their history and their origins and dream away and let curiosity and imagination do its soothing work during a break in a days work.

 

Commissioned by Art in Embassies, US Department of State, curators Virginia Shore and Sarah Tanguy.

 

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U.S. Embassy The Hague, Wassenaar, The Netherlands, 2018
Size (m): 11.80 x 2.30
Material: wool Drenth Heath Sheep, merino wool, silk, mohair, flax
Pigments: indigo, madder, cochineal, onion skin
Photo credit: Jeroen Musch
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Natural Melody

For the home of a musical family in Amsterdam Claudy Jongstra created the mural ‘Natural Melody'. The undulating landscape in vivid blues, pale tones and radiating gold is a beautiful example of Jongstra’s current spirited language. With whirlwind shapes, more peacefully flowing streams and silky undercurrents reflecting life’s own varied melody of peace and turmoil. The pigments of indigo, woad, weld, onion skin and walnut are further enhanced by benefiting from the different properties of the natural yarns. The silk, subtle and with a soft sheen contrasting with the voluptuous hair of the Drenthe Heath Sheep and interspersed with smooth merino wool and mohair gives the mural an added sculptural quality.

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Music room, Private Residence, Amsterdam The Netherlands 2018
Size (m): 5,25 x 3,13
Material: wool Drenth Heath Sheep, merino wool, mohair, silk
Dyes: indigo, woad, weld, onionskin, walnut
Photo credit: Jeroen Musch
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The Pathway of the Birds

For a glass partition between the auditorium and the family parlor, we created 'The Pathway of the Birds', an art piece referring to the Finnish myth of Linnunrata. In the partly transparent felted piece in natural yarns, our life's journey is depicted through darker trials and challenging dilemmas as we transform and grow along the way towards spiritual clarity and the golden wisdom of the eternal. 

According to the Finnish myth of Linnunrata or literally the pathway of the birds, our earthly voyage starts and ends guided by birds, as they conduct our soul to unite with our body at birth. And again when our life is completed birds carry our soul on their wings beyond the soft greenish-blue sheen of the horizon to its eternal dwelling. Through the transparent fragments in between the stronger fields of color in the art piece, the departing human soul remains in contact with their beloved on earth.

For 'The Pathway of the Birds' we have chosen for a new way of installing the fragile felted murals within glass panes. In both the auditorium and the family room of Crooswijk Cemetery the partly transparent art piece can be admired as if looking through windows to the other side. The elegant installation was developed in collaboration with Glashandel Martin de Boer, one of many excellent craftsmen in our country. We feel the installation has added to the mystery of 'The Pathway of the Birds', as the fleeting moment of our voyage seems to have been caught for eternity.

The old graveyard Crooswijk in Rotterdam was first in use as early as 1832. It is situated in a beautiful park on the river the Rotte on the former rural outskirts of the city.

 

Photo credit:

Jeroen Musch

 

 

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Auditorium and family room
Crooswijk Cemetery
Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2017
Size (m): 2.16 x 6.68
Material: Wool, silk, mohair, linen | Pigments from: alkanet root, dahlia, onion, indigo, chamomile, walnut
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FIELDS OF TRANSFORMATION

Installing major art piece ‘Fields of Transformation’ in the Moelis Family Grand Reading Room in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center Penn Libraries at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. 

#ClaudyJongstra was invited to create this large piece by global design firm Gensler, Philadelphia. We would like to thank everyone who assisted us during this amazing process. 
Special thanks to the Embassy of the Netherlands in the United States 
Video: Stan Opveld
Music: Ultimae Records, Connect.Ohm | Fossil from the album "9980"

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