BLAAUWE HAND (2018)
Oil on canvas
39.5" x 15.5"
Painted after visiting my paternal grandmother’s birthplace in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, for the first time in 2018, Blaauwe Hand was inspired by the history of a cafe in the city's town square which had been frequented by cloth dyers since 1542.
Historically, the first floor had housed the weaving and cloth dyeing mill. The sheet was dyed in a variety of colours, but indigo, a dark blue dye, was the most commonly used. This dyeing was manual work and dyers were recognisable by their blue hands.
What emerged, from my desire to create an abstract work based on varying the stains of a blue wash on the canvas, was actually a view of the river Waal, passing through Nijmegen.
James Joslin © 2021