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Joos van de Plas (1952) is the oldest child of an artist. Her father was a gifted portrait painter. She was immersed in art early on in her childhood. When she was 16 years old Joos entered the Tilburg Art Academy. After her graduation from Tilburg, she continued her studies at the Jan van Eyck Academy, the Maastricht post-graduate art center. 

When she finished her education, van de Plas went to India, where she lived in the Himalayas for over a year. 

Back in Holland she worked in her own studio painting and sculpting. Round the year 2000, Joos ‘discovered’ the work of Maria Sibylla Merian, a 17th century German/Dutch artist who was one of the first natural scientists. It was this acquaintance with Merian’s oeuvre that led to a major reorientation of van de Plas as an artist. She began to explore the important age in which Merian had lived and worked. For a better knowledge of Merian’s work Joos performed research in libraries, museums and in nature itself. Currently this research is an integral part of her work as an artist. She has become well versed in the world of 17th and 18th-century books on entomology and botany and ancient insect and plant collections. It is this research which has inspired her new work. 

At the moment van de Plas is using film and photography as her primary media. She does not paint or draw as much as she used to. In order to produce her videos she breeds butterflies in self created small 'gardens' in her studio. This enables her to film insects and plants in a self-created environment.

Van de Plas has published two books on discoveries made during her research: 'Portfolio Wiesbaden' (2013) on her work in The Gerning Collection of Museum Wiesbaden and 'Stolen Observations' (2019) which describes her discovery of strange additions to posthumous publications of Merian’s work. These are artist's books, published in her studio.

Joos van de Plas
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