Truth and Beauty in Black, Mingei International Museum

‘Truth and Beauty in Black’ permanent art installation commissioned by Jennifer Luce of Luceetstudio for the reopening of the Mingei International Museum in San Diego in September 2021. Creation took 3 years, including research in collaboration with Artechne into the complex and intriguing colour Burgundian Black that goes back to a medieval recipe that has been rediscovered and reconstructed by Studio Claudy Jongstra. 

At first glance, the colour appears completely monotone black, after closer examination intensely rich variations begin to reveal themselves. 

The 36-foot long and 5-feet high artwork is located in the newly renovated Bistro of the Mingei International Museum providing a warm, softening, yet contemporary element to the space acting also as an acoustic divergent, dampening sound. 

Jongstra’s ‘Truth and Beauty in Black’ aims to engage with the museum’s diverse collection in order to inspire a renewed appreciation for the historic interconnectivity between humanity, material, culture and environment.

Title: "Truth and Beauty in Black"
Mingei International Museum, San Diego, USA
Photos by Paul Rivera for New York Times and Team Mingei

Art pieces for reception desks Truist Center

Studio Claudy Jongstra was commissioned to create several art pieces that are integrated into the lobby reception desks that greet employees and visitors at the entrances of Truist Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The warm earth tones of the natural dyes are inspired by the geology and hydrology of Charlotte. Especially the golden hues of onion skins represent Charlotte’s rare and valuable gold deposits.
Each of the three artworks are a foundation for positive interaction and enduring connection that warmly welcomes the community to the bank and fosters an economy of care.
Also in Jongstra's vision, the materials, process and artworks are part of an economy based on caring for people and the planet. Claudy Jongstra's colourful and vibrant monumental felted artworks from Drenthe Heath Sheep's wool whose colors are distilled from natural dye plants like madder root and woad, celebrate the abundance of nature. The eye-catching art pieces contribute to an inspiring environment and the wool softens and humanizes the large architectural space with its tactile, warm and acoustic qualities. 
The commission was facilitated by Hodges Taylor, an art consulting firm based in Charlotte, on behalf of Truist Bank.


Claudy Jongstra at restaurant Blue Hill New York

Using natural colours and textures, Studio Claudy Jongstra created extraordinary works of art as tasteful dishes on the farm table of co-owner and award-winning chef Dan Barber's top restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York. She created an installation with five themes: the materials were dyed with walnut shells, rhubarb, onion, sunflower and Burgundy Black whose medieval colour recipes were composed with so-called 'waste materials' obtained by foraging. Jongstra evidently used much of the restaurant waste such as onion peels, but also from other crops from Blue Hill's horticulture, matching the contemporary dishes with local ingredients mainly from its own garden.
The rich installation is complemented by a table runner from Studio Claudy Jongstra's LOADS Collection, made in collaboration with Sekem in Egypt, which grows high-quality Demeter-certified cotton. The installation is a natural and atmospheric complement to the revolutionary, ecological farm-to-table ethos behind every ingredient in every dish.

Photo's Amber Heeke

Tangible Transformation II at EENWERK gallery

Tangible Transformation II is part of Cycles of Growth, an unique collaboration between Studio Claudy Jongstra and @eenwerk_gallery in collaboration with @galeriefontana. Specially for this beautiful space the artist created the monumental felted art piece Tangible Transformation II as the eye catching center piece in vibrant shiny and warm colours. The plant based dyes are very locally sourced: in the greenhouse above the gallery Claudy Jongstra and partner Claudia Busson planted the seeds last spring. Gallerist Julius Vermeulen took care of the plants and the studio harvested the flower buds of plants such as coreopsis, sunflowers and calendula and let them dry in the sun. At Studio Claudy Jongstra the wool was dyed with these plant pigments as well as from biodynamic farms @entheos_bio in Spain and @debeerschehoeve in Brabant.

Tangible Transformation II is part of a series of travelling monumental artworks Jongstra created as a visual manifesto with powerful eco-political messages. Tangible Transformation serves as a conversation piece for an alternative future: it calls for awareness and action to protect our ecosystem. She said, "Working with the amazing material wool is not about nostalgia but about innovation. We use wool and dye plants from both Spain and the Netherlands, creating new communities to vitalise farming life. Together, we are creating a new future." 


Tangible Transformation II and other smaller new works by Claudy Jongstra
20 January - 30 March 2024 


Koninginneweg 176


Tangible Transformation II, 2023
Studio Claudy Jongstra
Drenthe Heath sheep wool, Spanish heritage merino wool, mohair, silk, handspun yarns
Demeter certified woad, sunflower, calendula, coreopsis, madder root, walnut

FAD Talk Barcelona with Claudy Jongstra

A new FAD Talk session starring artist and activist Claudy Jongstra on the occasion of the exhibition "Pastoral Futures. Wool Migrations"by MATERFAD, which can be visited at the Disseny Hub Barcelona until January 21 2024. In front of his mural Tangible Transformation I, an impressive tapestry the size of her previous Guernica de la Ecología that frames and oversees the set of pieces displayed at the exhibition, Jongstra speaks with Robert D. Thompson Casas, scientific director of MATERFAD, about shepherding for environmental balance, as well as together cultivating plants to create natural dyers just as our ancestors did. She also explains her artwork and the creation process that she follows.


Washed Ashore and Lost & Found for Bankside Hotel London

For Bankside Hotel, set on the culturally vibrant South Bank of London on the majestic river The Thames, Claudy Jongstra is developing 'Washed Ashore' and Lost & Found. Both series of works refer to the 'mudlarkers', a kind of beachcombers who in the 18th and 19th centuries collected and sold objects washed up along the Thames as treasures. The title also refers to the feeling of being in transit and at ease in the unfamiliar surroundings in which travellers and hotel guests find themselves. Washed Ashore is a matching series of five semi-transparent wool-felted hangings in the warm colours of walnut, onion, indigo and madder root that give the restaurant a cozy and protected feel while also providing contact with the street. The works refer visually to the tranquil repeating blue-grey ripples of the river and the bow wave left by boats on the water's surface. The hangings are also about a state of being, the calm after the storm, and confidently waiting for what is to come, surrounded by the hues of water, sky and shore. 

The works entitled Lost & Found will be developed for the hotel's private dining room. The hangings breathe the same atmosphere but the colours wil be lighter. Also for the seven suites of the hotel, Jongstra will create an exclusive series of high-quality biodynamic interior products such as cushions, plaids and dressing gowns (the 'Bankside Banyan') for LOADS Collection, which will provide an impetus to the sustainable change that the hotel aspires to.




Philip Steiner, Suzanna de Sitter, Jesk Jongstra, LOADS Collection

Workshop Transformative ecosystems at Valldaura Labs

On 1 January 2024, artist and eco-activist Claudy Jongstra, organic food cooperative Odin and Galerie Fontana will launch the 'New Definitions' fund, aimed at promoting sustainable organic food production. To this end, Jongstra is creating a series of travelling, colourful landscape artworks entitled 'Tangible Transformations'. From the sale of each artwork, 10% will go to the new fund from which New Definitions will support regenerative agriculture projects. The artworks will have their own passport, specifying where all raw materials come from, how they were made and which will be indexed by location along with the resulting projects.

One of the first initiatives is the collaboration with Valldaura LABS in Barcelona, founded by renowned architect, ecological urban development experts and researcher Vicente Guallart. This inspiring research centre is located in the middle of the Collserola natural park and is dedicated to creating a self-sufficient living environment. Here Jongstra will give a workshop 'Transforming ecosystems' to master students and researchers from Valldaura Labs on 12 and 13 January 2024, including a debate on ecosystems that can offer a hopeful and resilient new future. 

valldauralabs iaac DisseneyHubBarcelona  entheosbio materfad eenwerk galeriefontana odlinfoodcoop

Photos Valldaura Labs: Adrià Goula

New Definitions & Tangible Transformations

Claudy Jongstra, organic food cooperative Odin and Galerie Fontana join forces. They will launch the fund 'New Definitions' on 1 January 2024. From here, it will support 'the art of changing direction', a movement against the disappearance of diversity and creativity on the land, in cuisine, culture and fashion. The fund's first goal is to support a patent- and genetic engineering-free organic plant breeding programme that will provide strong and free seed for sustainable organic food production. This will set up pilot fields with farmers who also want to contribute to change.


Especially for New Definitions, Jongstra is creating a series of travelling, monumental artworks with a landscape imagination, entitled Tangible Transformations. Tangible Transformations I can be seen until 14 January 2024 at the exhibition Furtures Pastorales at Museum Disseny Hub BarcelonaMatterfad. Tangible Transformations II can be seen at gallery EENWERK in Amsterdam from 20 January 2024. The third work will be presented for the first time during BioKennnis Week on 17 and 18 January 2024 in Den Bosch at Odin's stand. This last work is even more exuberant in its colourfulness while part of it is deliberately 'uncoloured'. It is still unfilled, naked, vulnerable: metaphorically ready for transformation!

The artworks are for sale; 10% of the proceeds will go to the new fund from which New Definitions will support regenerative agriculture projects.

 All works will have their own passport, specifying where all raw materials come from and how they were made. As the artworks travel around, the passports will be indexed at the various locations, along with resulting projects such as, for example, the collaboration with master students and researchers from Valldaura LABS in Barcelona and the Netherlands, where Jongstra will give a two-day workshop 'Transforming ecosystems' on 12 and 13 January 2024.

New definitions is supported by Iona Stichting.


Studio Claudy Jongstra

8 X 3.60 and 6 x 2.80 m

Tangible Transformations I, II and III, 2023
Studio Claudy Jongstra
8 X 3.60 and 6 X 2.80 m

Farm to Table dinner X Restaurant BAK

For one evening, the water in the 'Amsterdamse houthavens' where Restaurant BAK is located will be replaced by another location: Studio Claudy Jongstra's LOADS building in the Frisian meadows of Spannum. Chef Benny Blisto will host a 'Farm to Table' six-course dinner here on 23 February 2024. Blisto, Jongstra and her partner, gardener Claudia Busson, share a common vision and way of working: restaurant Bak, run by Blisto, Piet Sanders and sommelier Alessandro da Fies, has been working with only the best seasonal biodynamic products (many vegetables) from passionate local farmers, hunters, fishermen and gardeners since its establishment in 2012. The Sneek-born Blisto does not descend on LOADS as a one-day pop-up restaurant, but for the Farm to Table dinner, he goes in search of the best local ingredients from Friesland and combines them with herbs and vegetables from Jongstra's and Busson's biodynamic garden in Huns, from which Busson draws products such as medlars, apple and pear syrup and winter lettuce, complemented by sourdough bread baked in their own wood-fired oven from grain grinded locally at the Woudsend mill.

Together with guests, they will exchange information on alternative, future-proof biodynamic farming projects and the value of community vegetable and plant gardens in urban and rural areas. Especially for the occasion, Blisto will also 'harvest' clay from Spannum to make plates on which the diner will be served.

Interested? Sign up for the six-course dinner including wine:

 Photo greenhouse: Iris Havekamp Begeman

Date: 23 February 2024
Participants: 50 max.
Location: LOADS, Lytse Buorren 23, Spannum, Friesland
Prize: 145 euro 

Tangible Transformation in Disseny Hub Barcelona

The new monumental wool-felted artwork 'Tangible Transformation' depicts a vital, blooming and colourful landscape and is inspired by the colour palette of 15th-century tapestries dominated by different shades of green. This work can be seen for the first time at the eponymous retrospective by Dutch artist and eco-activist Claudy Jongstra at the Museo de Diseño, Disseny Hub Barcelona from 23 November 2023 to 14 January 2024. 

 Tangible Transformation is the third work in a series of travelling monumental activist artworks Jongstra created as visual manifestos with powerful eco-political messages. After Woven Skin (2018) and Guernica de la Ecología (2021), Tangible Transformation depicts the hopeful sequel. Tangible Transformation is inspired by the so-called Verdures, woven tapestries whose backgrounds are completely filled with predominantly green decorative foliage. These traditional landscape tapestries glorifying nature peaked in Flanders in the 15th and 16th centuries in particular. In Claudy Jongstra's translation, the greenery is dressed up in exuberant colours and serves as a manifesto for an alternative future: it constitutes a call for awareness to do something to protect and preserve our ecosystem and realise a more biodiverse landscape. 

 Guernica de la Ecología 

The title of her well-known Guernica de la Ecología, which is also on display during the exhibition at Disseny Hub (DHub) Barcelona, refers to the iconic Guernica painted by Pablo Picasso in 1937 as an indictment of the violence of war during the Spanish civil war. Jongstra's Guernica is a colourless, desolate, bleak and menacing landscape. With this swirling field of flowers, Jongstra makes a fist against a neglectful world that treats the earth lovelessly. It expresses the violent destruction of our ecosystem by climate change and intensive agriculture and reflects the lack of it seen in our landscapes today. Jongstra makes an urgent call to bring colour back into the landscape mutilated by monoculture and restore biodiversity. Both Tangible Transformation and Guernica de la Ecología are the same size as Picasso's work: 3.60 X 7.90 metres. 

 Her wool-felted tapestries are composed of wool from a flock of native Drenthe Heath Sheep (the oldest breed in northern Europe), dyed with native dye plants. Jongstra cultivates these in the botanical garden at the biodynamic farm in Friesland she runs with partner Claudia Busson. These dye plants enrich the soil, feed bee populations and contribute to regional biodiversity, while the grazing sheep provide the ecological balance. In this way, Jongstra creates a fully sustainable and circular chain that results in her vibrant artworks.

 EINA Collserola LAB 

Tangible Transformation is appropriately presented in collaboration with the 'Tornen les esquelles' project of the Barcelona University Centre for Design and Art (EINA). The EINA Collserola LAB aims to revive the remnants of pastoral culture in Barcelona's Serra de Collserola natural park by recovering the wool from the herds that graze in this natural park. This is because the industrialisation of textile production and the introduction of synthetic fibres has resulted in most farmers throwing away or burning the wool of their sheep.

 In the Netherlands alone, 1.5 million kilos of wool are burnt every year. Barcelona's Serra de Collserola nature park faces a similar challenge: tonnes of wool from the sheep flocks grazing in the nature park are thrown away every year due to a lack of opportunities for processing. Jongstra, who has been working with wool for 30 years, has an ongoing mission to demonstrate the important value of wool and restore the link between manufacturers and materials.

 LOADS Collection

LOADS and LOADS Collection will also be presented. LOADS derives directly from the cooperative and ecological way of working on the biodynamic farm in Friesland. Together with her partner, Claudia Busson, Claudy Jongstra opened LOADS in 2022, an extension of the studio focused on three pillars: education, agriculture and fashion. Here, ancient knowledge is transferred by revaluing and reviving crafts like weaving and spinning, reinventing historical techniques and creating colour recipes for natural dyes. Collaborations are taking place here with students, designers, farmers, scientists, curators and businesses.

LOADS Collection is the first project to emerge from LOADS. The exhibition will feature two garments: one related to the Spanish and the other to the Dutch countryside. One garment is made of wool from herds grazing in the Sierra de Collserola Nature Park. The wool was collected by Tornen les esquelles and dyed with biodynamic sunflowers and coreopsis grown at the Entheos biodynamic farm in Lerín, Spain. Working directly with local shepherds and farmers, this garment links the exhibition to the revitalisation of the Spanish countryside through projects by Tornen les esquelles and a growing network in Spain focused on the future of wool. 

The other garment is made of native Drentse heath sheep wool and the historic dye woad, a plant that had disappeared from the Dutch landscape for a hundred years and is now being grown on a large scale again by Studio Claudy Jongstra together with farmers from Brabant's Beersche Hoeve. 

The two garments from the LOADS Collection will hang above two interwoven labyrinths formed by the raw materials from which the garments are made, such as Drenthe heath sheep's wool from the Netherlands and biodynamically grown flowers from Spain. Visitors can thus experience the garments in close relation to the materials and landscapes they come from.

Viktor & Rolf's Burgundian black couture

Finally, Jongstra shows the colour black-inspired Spiritual Glamour autumn/winter haute couture collection by Viktor & Rolf. She created a series of sculptural coats with voluminous shapes for these well-known fashion designers in 2019. Viktor & Rolf were fascinated by Jongstra's scientific research on the complex colour Burgundian Black and by her ecological practice. For them, she dyed woollen coats with the specific and complex shades of Bunrgundian Black that master dyers perfected between the 15th and 17th centuries. In collaboration with Utrecht University's ERC Artechne, led by Professor Sven Dupré, Studio Claudy Jongstra has revived long-lost creative processes and recipes by creating a multitude of brilliant shades of natural black.

Tangible Transformation by Claudy Jongstra
23 November 2023 to 14 January 2024
DHub Disseny Hub Barcelona
Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, 37-38, Barcelona


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