By: Claudy: 26-10-2020

Situated just footsteps from the shore of the Maas, the Limburgs Museum pays homage to this mighty body of water, of life. At the request of curator Servé Hermans (artistic director of Toneelgroep Maastricht), visual artist Claudy Jongstra partakes in this homage with a piece entitled FOUR. Four moods of the river are reflected with four idioms in wool - mighty, saturated, luminous and tidal. Each idiom, unearthed from the margins of the Maas, is expressed in four distinct compositional styles and natural colour palettes. Derived from indigenous dye plant species cultivated and foraged in Limburg, each colour palette embodies particular “gebiedseigen” qualities of the regional landscape. Wool, the body of the work, is local kempisch sheep's wool sourced in collaboration with a holistic land conservation organisation - rendering FOUR an artwork that describes the diversity of the Maas in both character and ecology.

In this installation, FOUR encircles a sculptural installation piece by artist Berlinde de Bruyckere. Unknown until recently, a mass grave of war horses was discovered on the brinks of the Maas. De Bruyckere symbolically addresses this event through a carnal, decayed depiction of the animal, whilst the circling motion of FOUR sparks a dialogue between the two artworks.

The canvases of FOUR face the perished being like an altarpiece looking over a saint’s relic, enfolding it in a protective embrace, a womb’s nurture. Four moments, four natures, four moods of the Maas - muse, monster, murderer and mother.