Claudy Jongstra at Bankside Hotel

Bankside is excited to announce its exclusive partnership with esteemed textile artist and eco-activist Claudy Jongstra. This collaboration introduces the immersive ‘Washed Ashore’ and ‘Lost & Found’ art series to the Art Yard Bar & Restaurant and weaves the ethos of sustainability into the fabric of the hotel with the UK debut of the biodynamic LOADS collection in the hotel’s luxury suites.

About Claudy

Claudy Jongstra is known worldwide for her monumental artworks and architectural installations, whose organic surfaces and nuanced tones reflect her masterful innovations in the ancient technique of making wool felt. Maintaining a flock of rare, indigenous Drenthe Heath sheep (the oldest breed in Northern Europe) and cultivating a specialized dyers’ botanical collection garden, Jongstra creates a completely sustainable chain culminating in her artworks.

In 2001, Jongstra established her studio in the rural North of The Netherlands, where she began a sweeping ecological experiment in the local landscape.  As her artistic practice expanded, so too did the impact on her region. Collaborating with local farms, schools, and social programs, and drawing on a deep respect for the interwoven narratives of people, land, and tacit knowledge, Jongstra actively reimagines and revitalizes the local landscape from monocultural production toward a more diverse, inclusive, and ecologically-just model.

Washed Ashore

Washed Ashore is a series of hangings inspired by the Thames’ ‘Mudlarkers’, 18th—and 19th-century beachcombers who sold washed-ashore treasures. A collection of five wool-felted canvases, ‘Washed Ashore,’ follows Jongstra’s long-established sustainable art practice, dedicated to wool’s restorative ecology and timeless beauty. The works are created from natural, non-toxic materials, using wool sourced from Drenthe Heath Sheep, merino from La Dehesa farm, and natural dyes meticulously crafted from Jongstra’s botanical garden and biodynamic farms.

Jongstra captures the serene yet dynamic essence of the Thames; the tranquil, repetitive blue-greyish ripples of the river and the bow waves that boats leave behind on the water’s surface are embodied through the range of natural dyes from intense indigo to golden yellow hues.

The series also reflects a state of being, feeling alive and well, having reached a destination in one piece, being at peace with oneself, in the calm after the storm, waiting for what will be coming next, having faith and trusting in oneself. Being tranquil in a fluid state, surrounded by the blue hues of water, sky and shore. Just like the treasures awaiting in the soft wet riverbank.

Washed Ashore - Art Yard Bar

Lost and Found

‘Lost & Found’ conveys the stories of the Thames’ bustling past – its role in trade, culture, and as a hub of intercultural exchange. Jongstra brings this past to life through the organic surfaces and nuanced tones that reflect her masterful innovations in the ancient technique of making wool felt.

The series is inspired by the history of the Thames Mudlarkers, an age-old authentic form of recycling, treasuring the gifts from the river banks and making do with what others had rejected or lost along the way.

Jongstra conveys the theme of rediscovery, inspired by objects historically washed ashore and collected as treasures. Focussing on the hidden treasures in the river bank, those that surround us as well as the ones we carry within. Golden gems, silver linings, clay white ridges, red copper hooks, transparent glass shapes, that appear from the grayish blue surface and attract our gaze. Intriguing details that pull us in and invite us to reflect on the value of hidden gems. Moving closer like the Mudlarker at sunrise to discover what will manifest as we carefully pull the glistening embedded object from its hiding place. We find and appreciate what others long ago have lost, and we let go and relinquish our own assets for the benefit of others. A true exchange of knowledge, valuable insights, and worthy feelings develops between us during our conversations at the table.

Lost & Found - Art Yard Private Dining Room
“Our partnership with Claudy Jongstra exemplifies Bankside Hotel’s dedication to weaving sustainability into the cultural fabric of our hotel – both literally and figuratively. Each piece of artwork and textile serves as a tangible expression of our deep-rooted commitment to sustainable practices, all while honouring the vibrant cultural tapestry of the SE1 neighbourhood.”

Philip Steiner, Hotel Manager, Bankside Hotel

The LOADS Collection at Bankside

LOADS is the most recent expansion of Studio Claudy Jongstra, which is dedicated to education, skill-building, and collaboration. LOADS Collection is the first project emerging from this new space, bringing together the extraordinary work of collaborating makers, architects, farmers, designers, manufacturers, and social enterprises.

The Jongstra x Bankside partnership extends to incorporating the LOADS collection within the hotel’s suites. Each of Bankside’s seven signature suites feature plush cushions and soft-tone plaid bed throws crafted from the highest-quality organic cotton sourced from SEKEM, Egypt, and dyed with natural pigments. The collection is inspired by historical intercultural exchanges along the Thames, reflecting the global influences that have shaped London while offering guests an unparalleled experience of luxury, mindful of its ecological impact.

Frankie Kurtis
8th April - 23rd June 2024