Immense artwork ‘Fields of Transformation’ by Claudy Jongstra will be installed at Penn Libraries in Philadelphia
Fields of Transformation comprises three huge pieces, varying in dimension, the largest being nearly 6 meters high by 15 meters wide, made of felted wool and pure silk. ‘As in an impressionist landscape, the transformation of the essence of wisdom is visualized on its travel from the source – the library – through the head – in a state of knowledge – to the heart where it will develop and flourish. The source is in blue from the indigo plant on the wool from the ancient Drenthe Heath Sheep, combining the eastern and western hemispheres of knowledge of past times stored in the books in the library. Pure white in silk fibres shows the intellectual stage of active knowledge in the present derived from research with the help of connections and understanding in the mind. White is completely reflective and awakens openness and growth for the next phase. In the warm yellow heart the dynamic transformation can take place through engagement, curiosity, and irrational creativity into golden wisdom for the future. Chamomile, an age old dyers plant, renders its warm yellow glow to one of the oldest fibres known to men, the shiny thread from the Chinese silkworm (Bombyx Mori).
Claudy Jongstra (1963) creates art pieces and architectural installations of hand felted and woven natural fibres. The beauty of nature, raw materials and the exploration of ancient crafts such as spinning, carding and weaving constantly inspire and help Jongstra in bringing a sense of beauty and belonging to dwellings and public spaces. As well as working together with architects and clients for the large mural installations around the world, Claudy has in the past 25 years been building an impressive oeuvre of her unique and very coveted tactile art pieces. Working in an autarkic environment is essential for the creative process of the studio. Committed to a sustainable chain of creation, Claudy Jongstra saved the Drenthe Heath sheep from extinction, keeps bees and cultivates a botanical garden and grows her own plants for dyes. No waste is left, every bit of the wool is used by carding the smallest pieces, nature is completely respected and the studio exemplifies the philosophical values of utilizing local resources and traditional skills. Situated in Spannum and Húns in Friesland, Claudy’s flock of sheep and biodynamic dye garden provide both the physical and inspirational foundation for each of her monumental felt artworks. Sustainability, self-sufficiency and collaboration are central to the evolution of Jongstra’s practice. Yet her mission is not only one of eco-awareness or social impact. It is the poetic marriage of history, culture and tradition that is embedded in each layer of her holistic process. Claudy Jongstra gives vitality to the works’ tactility and equally to its meaning. They are the tangible embodiment of hope for a sustainable future.