Mind over Matter: Using Recycled Material to Create Art

Mind over Matter is a striking project by artist Suzanne Jongmans. With modern packaging materials, she creates portraits reminiscent of the Dutch Masters. In this series of portraits, several disciplines are combined; she is a cutter, sculptor, costume designer and photographer. From collecting the materials and models to selecting the best photos, everything comes from the hands of the same artist.

Foam is the most important component with which Suzanne Jongmans creates costumes that are reminiscent of those in portraits of Rembrandt, Hans Holbein the Younger and Rogier van der Weyden. Where the portraits of the old masters were dressed in the most expensive and finest fabrics, where they do things that we regard as waste.

After the one-time use, we usually throw out the packaging material. It is precisely in these cast-off bags that Suzanne Jongmans sees the greatest beauty and, moreover, similarity with luxurious fabrics. After all, both have as their main function the protection of the packed object and keeping it warm — whether it’s an object or a person. With the same love and attention as a tailor with fine satin or soft silk, Jongmans makes costumes from discarded plastics. And when you look at the result, you see that these portraits do not have to be classic paintings to achieve an astonishing level of beauty.