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Enhancing the use and experience of botanical colors in daily life with an open source seed bank for historical dye plants.

Community Seed Bank for Colour (CSBC)

3D viewing room
'Tidal' by Claudy Jongstra
©Anne Claire de Breij

CSBC is an open source seed bank for historical dye plants that promotes the revitalization of our visual world while stimulating biodiversity, contributing to the preservation of cultural heritage and protecting indigenous plant species.

For centuries, botanical colours have played a central role in agriculture, economy and culture. The cultivated landscape provided a wealth of flowers and plants that yielded rich colours for diverse application in art and daily life, not the least of which, was painting. Today, this abundance of natural colours has disappeared, due in part to the growth of large-scale, monotonous agriculture. Along with the plants themselves, knowledge and diverse applications of botanical colours are also slowly disappearing.

A restorative project for both natural colour and hand labour, CSBC is a natural extension of Claudy Jongstra’s ongoing specialized botanical pigment research and experimentation.

CSBC has initiated a collaboration with the Vincent Van GoghHuis that focuses on the rich history of pigment plant cultivation and use in Brabant. No painter captured this as vividly as Vincent van Gogh - both in his famous use of colour and the farm labour and craft indelibly recorded in his works.

A pilot crop of woad - Isatis tinctoria - informs CSBC's foundational research, which will also be on view alongside Jongstra's solo exhibition at Museum De Lakenhal (30.10.20 - 28.2.21).


Studio Claudy Jongstra & Extended Ground

Extended Ground, founded by Claudy Jongstra (artist & activist) and Claudia Busson (horticulturalist & wild gardener) at De Kreake in Húns, The Netherlands, is a cutting-edge biodynamic farm and field lab. The locally rooted agro-ecological model at the core of Extended Ground has the capacity and ambition to adapt to diverse landscapes and socio-cultural conditions.