-- Sustainable Artistry --
* Today's article was writtne by Virginia Arrisueño - owner and designer of DeNada Design. Want to read more about fiber artists like Virginia and Jongstra? Visit the DeNada Blog for more articles: http://denadadesign.com/blog/
Artist Claudy Jongstra is committed to creating art using sustainable methods. An advocate for utilizing local resources and traditional skills, she makes her impressive installations out of high quality wool from her own flock of Drenthe Heath Sheep. The Dutch artist uses the beauty of such a natural material to create a softer, more human atmosphere in public spaces.
Jongstra studied fashion in Utrecht, Netherlands before becoming fascinated by a Mongolian yurt on display in Nederlands Textielmuseum. She found the colors and textures of the felt interesting, and started to make fabrics combining wool and silk. Since then, she has continuously experimented with different felting techniques, satisfied with the outcome of her fabrics and the sustainable manner in which she creates them. In 2009, Jongstra started growing her own dye-plants to color her textiles. Many notable fashion designers, such as John Galliano, Christian Lacroix, and Donna Karan, have used her fabrics in their collections.
While fashion designers have used Jongstra's textiles, her art installations are what really captivate me. Most of Jongstra's pieces display a deep connection to the Earth, and cause the viewer to see natural beauty where they may not have before. Surrounded by plain white walls, the bright blues and whites from one of her contemporary art pieces (for which she won best 'Studio Artist Design' Carpet Design Award in 2014) appears to be a representation of the ocean. Although the piece looks rugged up close, the holistic nature of the rug creates a refined feel and contributes to a peaceful atmosphere. Her other pieces have been displayed in a variety of places from a mortuary to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The piece Jongstra created for the mortuary next to a Chapel of the Sisters of Dominicans in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, is as serene as the ocean-like piece she created for the private residence. According to Jongstra, "[The art piece in the mortuary] adds beauty and consolation to [the] very special room and offers a healing force for the grief of the mourners." The soft color palette of cream, mauve, and gold add to the overall effect of the room. The project covers an entire wall, and from a distance, appears to be a painting. The subtle texture is only apparent up close, and the soft material mixed with the soft colors creates a peaceful atmosphere that accompanies most of Jongstra's naturalistic pieces.
I admire Jongstra's dedication to create sustainable art. Her deep connection to nature has led to amazing installations and has inspired me and other designers around the world.
Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet: