Joos van de Plas (1952) is the oldest child of a painter. Consequently she began to paint at a very early age. She was just sixteen when she went to the Tilburg Art Academy. After her graduation, she continued with her studies at the Maastricht Post-Graduate Center, The Jan van Eyck Academy.
She went to India and Nepal following this very busy period, because of her need, at this point, to work in a place far away from everything and everyone she knew. She lived in the Himalayas for about a year, most of the time in an isolated mountain village. When she was back in the Netherlands Joos van de Plas established herself as a painter and started exhibiting her work on a regular basis.
Joos van de Plas has a lifelong fascination with the process of metamorphosis, in both the literal and metaphorical sense. This all started when she was in her German Aunt’s home and discovered several hand-coloured 17th century gravures hanging in the hallway. Intrigued by the incredible colour combinations of the butterflies and the mysterious development from larvae into the caterpillars’ chrysalises and then into butterflies she unknowingly stumbled upon the subject matter of her future work.
Joos van de Plas is one with her work. She works most of the days in her studio which she had custom-built in the 90’s to suit her exact needs. When she is not there she can be found doing research either in a museum, botanical garden or in a library to enhance her already extensive knowledge of botanical and entomological subjects. She uses this knowledge to give direction and content to her work.She has worked in Germany, France, the U.K. and in 2005/6 in Surinam.
Joos van de Plas takes the subject of her painting apart and reconstructs it while painting. During this process, the subject metamorphoses into a new species, as it were; into a painterly object. She researches her painting in the same way as an entomologist dissects an insect. Aside from her painting she makes intricate drawings. She is an accomplished printmaker and has undertaken important commissions in the Netherlands and abroad.