A series of free-lance, autonomous tapestries by artist Claudy Jongstra.

A phone call in February. Claudy would like me to see some new work. Not commissions, but free-lance, autonomous tapestries. She and her entire team have been working tremendously hard in recent years. Studio Claudy Jongstra has completed countless exceptional and prestigious commissions. For the Catshuis in The Hague, the Dutch Embassy in Berlin, the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden and – last but not least – the new Barnes Museum in Philadelphia. To name but a few.

Her works are included in the collections of some of the world's major museums such as the MoMa in New York, the Victoria & Albert in London and the Stedelijk in Amsterdam. A colossal mural for the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles is currently being made. Her palmarès is so impressive, no summary could do it justice.

Jongstra’s creations conclusively transcend the status of applied art. Her monumental works are the interpositioning of textile into the architecture of stone and concrete, glass and wood. They do not merely serve the architecture in a subsidiary role, they complement and support it. All these prestigious commissions necessarily involve a great deal of travel. Throughout Europe, the Far East and the United States. Each unavoidable trip only increases her yearning for her little studio in the Friesland countryside, her experimental garden and laboratory where she grows, develops and tests the pure, natural ingredients for the dyes.

Time, peace and quiet and concentration are vital for any artist. And so she takes some time away from it all. To give free rein to this concentration and reflection and to fuel them with new inspiration. She works on a small series of autonomous works in mohair, silk and wool in deep colours. Indigo blue and glossy black dominate. Yellow, too, extracted from camomile, and bright white and green.

Concentrating on the soul of the artistic calling. 'Seele' is what Claudy has called this series of works. It becomes a fascinating series, extremely personal, with absolutely no concessions made to any patron, architect or committee. She has put her soul into it. On seeing it a short time ago in Claudy’s studio, Richard Strauss’ famous song spontaneously pops into my mind:

Ruhe, ruhe, meine Seele
Deine Stürme gingen wild
Hast getobt und hast gezittert
Wie die Brandung wenn sie schwillt

Diese Zeiten sind gewaltig
Bringen Herz und Hirn in not
Ruhe, ruhe, meine Seele
Und vergiss was dich bedroht

Paul van Rosmalen, Amsterdam, May 2014