Cycles of Growth at EENWERK gallery

Phase 1: soil & selection seeds

For the first time, Claudy Jongstra exposes in six steps the entire process that will eventually lead to a monumental artwork that will be on show in September at the exhibition at gallery EENWERK entitled: Cycles of Growth. From the earth, seeds and growth of the dye plants to distilling the colors from the plants, dyeing the Drenthe heath sheep's wool and hand-crafting the composition of a large wool-felted artwork: in both the greenhouse above Julius Vermeulen's gallery EENWERK in Amsterdam and at Claudy Jongstra's workplace in the Frisian town of Spannum, all the steps in the process are carried out. Everything starts with fertile soil and the selection of seeds of open pollinated varieties, because biodynamic seed ensures vital crops that are hardly susceptible to diseases and whose seeds can be regenerated every year. 

Phase 2: sowing seeds

Plant sowing has started in the greenhouse above Julius Vermeulen's gallery EENWERK. This will soon produce vibrant natural dyes for Claudy Jongstra's wool-felted monumental artwork that will be displayed in its full glory at the exhibition at gallery EENWERK in September.  For 'Cycles of Growth', Claudy Jongstra exposes the entire process for the first time. 

Jongstra uses biodynamic seeds of open pollinated varieties because this results in crops that are hardly susceptible to diseases and whose seeds can be reclaimed every year. "Seed breeding was once an activity of all farmers. Today, seed is in the hands of a small number of multinationals that use genetic technology, patents and takeovers of seed companies to gain maximum control over agricultural seeds. Farmers are forced to buy seed every year with the accompanying pesticides and herbicides instead of being able to propagate the seed themselves. Not so at Studio Claudy Jongstra: vital plants like weld (mustard-cognac), woad (blue, green), safflower (yellow, orange, red), sunflowers, coreopsis, medicinal dye plants including Calendula (yellow/orange), St John's wort (green) and Goldenrod (yellow), will soon sprout and grow in the greenhouse.

 Phase 3: Growth & flowering

After fueling the nursery with biodynamic soil and sowing the patent-free seeds, the plants begin to bloom and grow like cabbages in the greenhouse above gallery EENWERK in Amsterdam. Julius Vermeulen is taking good care of the dye plants that Claudy Jongstra will soon use to color the fresh wool of newly sheared Drenthe Heath Sheep. Using yellow pigments from sunflowers, coreopsis tinctoria and weld from the greenhouse and blue colors from the 2022 biodynamic Dutch woad crop, Jongstra will experiment this summer to achieve various predominantly green (=vert in French) hues that will serve as the starting point of the Verdure; for her final monumental artwork, she will refer to these woolen tapestries with fine green decorative foliage and woodland bushes that peaked in the 15th and 16th centuries.

@stichtingzaadgoed @eenwerk @demeter @fontana