Claudy Jongstra's tapestries
In 2012, a pair of large wall tapestries went on display, which are the first UK commissions for internationally-acclaimed Dutch artist Claudy Jongstra. Jongstra’s tapestries and textile wall-pieces simulate natural and cultural heritage, making innovative use of traditional craft techniques. She uses traditional yarn-making techniques of felting, carding and spinning and traditional plant dyes including St John’s wort and onion. The lively, expressive landscape is woven from wool from two old sheep breeds, the long haired Drenthe Heath and the Gotlands pels, felted together with silk and linen fibres. Jongstra harvests many of her materials from her own garden of traditional European dyeing plants and her own herd of rare-breed Drenthe Heath sheep. The preservation of old techniques of carding and spinning to make yarn is important to Jongstra, who has won several prizes for the use of sustainable and innovative materials.