Just after the summer of 2016, inspired by the radical close-up flower paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe, Claudy Jongstra focused on creating a series of Flower Portraits. In between her many huge virtually monochrome murals, in these new amazing pieces a myriad of radiant colours abounds in the flower petals stemming from a pivotal heart.
The strong outbursts of creativity show the enduring power of natural dyes from pigment plants as indigo, cochineal, chamomile, dahlia, madder, weld and walnut on the everlasting beauty of wool, linen and silk.
Wool is at the very core of what we do. It is an endlessly versatile material with deep historical and cultural European roots. Claudy’s sourcing of the fiber illuminates its fundamental value to her practice. She utilizes the wool from the flock of Drenthe Heath sheep – Europe’s oldest breed, of which only 1200 purebred animals remain.
These animals do not only supply fiber but also contribute to the ecological preservation of the Dutch moorlands. By protecting this age-old breed, we hope to preserve the impact they have on both humans and environment.
Twelve years of collaborative research into the processes of natural dyeing is reflected in the scope and richness of colored pigments visible in Claudy’s oeuvre. The development of the dyes is in constant symbiosis with the seasonally harvested, biodynamic dye- garden. The diversity of the gardens is mirrored by the vibrant studio-community. Studio Claudy Jongstra functions as a cultural, social and historical hub. Building local, national and global relationships breathes new life into ancient processes.
As nature is cyclic, so too are the exchanges of knowledge at the studio. It is clear eco-awareness is at the forefront of Claudy’s ethos, yet it is the preservation of history and tradition that shapes the soul of her creative practice. Processes at Studio Claudy Jongstra are an ever-evolving ritual of creativity, intuition, collaboration and reflection. The use of dye plants that have given us color for millennia in addition to the seasons and natural chemistry, this is what makes each dye process and thus each artwork, completely unique.
Dyed fiber is taken from chaos to order through carding, a process that combs the material. By keeping and re-carding our excess materials, we make certain that none of this precious fiber is wasted.
Felt is created when heat, moisture, and agitation are applied. It is this process that results in a material that is receptive to its surrounding environment. Its properties are acoustic, insulating and resilient in nature. The fused fibers absorb sound pollution and impurities in the air. Yet, it is the intimate tactility and layers of process that is consuming.
Making its home in the waiting room of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek cancer institute in Amsterdam, "Spring of Light" goes beyond art. It aims to give mental, emotional, and physical comfort to viewers and users of the space.
The soft yellow pigments are given from the Chamomile flower, Matricaria Recutita. In Latin, ‘matri’ means mother, while ‘caria’ is care; its exceptional properties are embedded in the name itself.
The Chamomile plant is known for its medicinal qualities such as promoting calm, and emotional well-being. The soft colors palette extracted from the petals have to power to calm the mind.
Natural indigo has been used worldwide for centuries and comes with legends and beliefs all its own. The magical blue of the Indigofera Tinctoria has a duality in itself. It invites us to focus on the pigment and lose ourselves within it. It has the ability to make us feel limitless.
"Spring of Light” refers to sparkling light on a leaf in the Spring and the hope that it brings.
Adolescents from 13-16 years of age are still seeking and forming. Their minds are continuously evolving and therefore more receptive to external influences. This time is vital for young people in seeing their own potential. Particularly adolescents who are struggling to connect, whatever experiences they might have had or story they might have lived, they all pose questions and are searching for unique answers. Non-traditional visions of care are needed.
We aim to provide catalysts for positive change: nurturing confidence, allowing to better adapt and thrive our evolving world. Building relationships with peers removes inhibitions and shows creativity in action amongst their equals. We aim to share the resources that our Studio has a long history with and inspire adolescents to create meaningful connections with people, place, and planet.
There are many ways to answer and react to posed questions. Moments of Intervention seeks silently by little steps to reconnect one to oneself. To offer a way of rooting, an organic manner of sharing with, and learning from each other by doing. Exploring tangible possibilities by giving an impulse.