A safe and enjoyable museum visit for everyone - online tickets only

Exhibition Claudy Jongstra

until 28 February 2021

Claudy Jongstra is much at once: visual artist, shepherd, farmer and activist. Her sculptural works travel the world and have a signature of their own. By going back to the origins of wool, weaving and color, Jongstra makes her audience reflect on the interaction between man and nature. In the exhibition Claudy Jongstra Museum De Lakenhal connects all these facets in a sensory experience.

New work

Jongstra made new works especially for Museum De Lakenhal: NINE and Cosmic Cry which together form an installation. NINE is the largest woven work Jongstra has ever made and flows through the space like an earthly landscape. In doing so Jongstra places a critical note on monoculture and landscapes filled with solar panels.

Also Woven Skin (2018) can be seen in the Netherlands for the first time after a world tour. A nomadic work that radiates urgency, an indictment against the exhaustion of our earth. The felted rags look like skinned skins and refer to the loss of our protection. .

Woven Skin
Woven Skin Photo: Ronald Tilleman
Nine en Cosmic Cry
Nine en Cosmic Cry Photo: Ronald Tilleman

Natural connection

Wool is the logical connection between the oeuvre of Claudy Jongstra and the world famous 'Leids Laken'. The characteristic deep black and blue colors of these fabrics are reflected in NINE and Cosmic Cry. Jongstra uses pigments from self-grown indigo, beta and madder plants. In the second part of the exhibition the historical permanent collection and Jongstra's current works enter into dialogue with each other. Leiden's textile history is linked to Jongstra's own research into sources, samples and materials.

Sensory experience

Sensory perception is essential for Jongstra. By using more senses, people are open to new experiences. Jongstra's works evoke that sense through their texture, scent and deep, natural colors. Especially for the exhibition Jongstra also developed a scent, inspired by the night and the deep blue and black tones.


As part of Jongstra's project Community Seed Bank for Colour, there is a collaboration with the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden for the development of area-specific woad. In this way Jongstra's cultivated woad will become a descendant of her crop in Friesland. The plants were sown this spring and used as pigment for the wool in the plants. It makes Jongstra's vision visible and tangible.

The exhibition is also the kick-off for Jongstra's project Extended Ground: a pamphlet for the rediscovery of craft and the connection between agricultural, care and educational organizations.

About Claudy Jongstra

Claudy Jongstra (1963) has grown from a designer into a visual artist with a substantive, activist philosophy. She gained great fame with her designs of felted wool and silk, dyed with natural pigments. Her works are included in the collections of, among others, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2019 she was inaugurated as a member of the Academy of Arts, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2019 she was Artist of the Year.

In her own words: "For a long time people called me 'wool artist'. A fine word, sweet, not threatening. But it is also bullshit. I am an activist. I want to incite people to action."

over Claudy Jongstra

Claudy Jongstra (1963) is van ontwerper uitgegroeid tot een beeldend kunstenaar met een inhoudelijke, activistische filosofie. Ze verwierf grote bekendheid met haar ontwerpen van gevilte wol en zijde, geverfd met natuurlijke pigmenten. Haar werken zijn opgenomen in de collecties van onder andere het Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, het Victoria & Albert Museum in Londen en het Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2019 werd zij geïnaugureerd tot lid van de Akademie van Kunsten, onderdeel van de Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen en in 2019 was zij Kunstenaar van het jaar.

Foto: Marit Geluk

Lang noemde men mij 'wolkunstenaar'. Een fijn woord, lieflijk, niet bedreigend. Maar het is ook bullshit. Ik ben een activist. Ik wil mensen aanzetten tot actie.

Claudy Jongstra

Het geurenkabinet met onder andere Het Nachtparfum
Het geurenkabinet met onder andere Het Nachtparfum Photo: Ronald Tilleman

Achter de schermen bij Claudy Jongstra

'Wie weet nog iets van een plantaardige kleur': een film van Marit Geluk

Een jaar lang volgde filmmaker Marit Geluk kunstenaar en activist Claudy Jongstra. We zien haar op haar boerderij, in Museum De Lakenhal en tijdens de voorbereidingen voor haar tentoonstelling.

New Leids Laken

Museum De Lakenhalle breathes new life into the history of Leiden Laken. Five artists and designers, including Claudy Jongstra, have designed a contemporary version of Leiden Laken, inspired by the museum's collection and the craft behind it. This 'Nieuw Leids Laken' is for sale exclusively in the museum store, with cloth lead.

Photo: Koen Hauser
Photo: Ronald Tilleman

Practical information

  • Friday 30 October 2020 to Sunday 28 February 2021.
  • Entrance fee: for this exhibition the regular entrance fee applies (no surcharge).
  • Tickets can only be booked online.
  • We do not have an audio tour, but a L@kenhal-App. You can download it at home or in the museum. In the app you will find backgrounds and information about the works marked with a star.
  • See which activities have been specially developed around this exhibition.


The exhibition and the public program have been made possible by (financial) support from:

Mondriaan Fonds | Stichting Stokroos | Fonds 21 | Leiden Stad van Ontdekkingen | DZB Leiden | Circulair Warenhuis | Hortus botanicus Leiden | Fries Museum | Keim Nederland B