Botanical Fresco Restaurant Mokum NYC

By: Claudy: 21-11-2018

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.