The key theme of my work is the ‘desire to belong’ - the connection to place, people or time.

My name is Clari de Waal, I am a dutch visual artist. After graduating my bachelor in social history, I went in the early nineties to art school Gerrit Rietveld Academie to study costume design, set and props for theatre.

For the last 15 year my workfield is community arts.

Through all the years the fascination for textile never left me.


2008-2009Entrepreneurial skills
STEW, advice and training for small enterprises
1988-1992Theatre design
Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam
1976-1981Bachelor Sociology, major social-history
Teaching qualification social studies 1st grade
Vrije Universiteit
1970-1976Pre-university education, beta
Lyceum Voorburg

Community Projects

2019-2023Children participation in their own neighborhood.
Driver of the process for SPIN, playgrounds in the city.
2020-2022Kerameeting, neighborhood atelier clay and meet.
Own initiative in collaboration with Ahmed Helaly.
2015-2022Neighbor Dance, dancing with neighbors at neighbors.
Own initiative.
2018-2020The Story Shop, objects with a story, made by refugee artists.
For Ondertussen foundation.
2019Neighborhood Bridge, opening of a bicycle bridge over canal I. Influencing the municipal government started successfully in 2009 with a movie. In collaboration with Tessa Joosse and supporting locals.
2015-2019Neighborhood Green, activism against the demolition of 60 trees for new houses. In collaboration with locals.
2014-2018PINKoriginals, platform for young creative LHBTQ+ artists.
Own initiative in collaboration with IHLA/LHBTQ -Heritage.
2015Pop-up streetart, playful patterns with little white and black stones as a street tattoo. Own initiative.
2008-2011The Wall, creating landmarks with locals to give them some ownership in the gentrification process.
Own initiative in collaboration with Tolhuistuin Amsterdam and Ymere housing cooperative.
2007Flaneren kun je leren (you can learn to stroll). Activating more street life with a procession of pimped bikes and canta’s.
Own initiative in collaboration with Combiwel and Cordaan and artists Cocky Eek and Judith Leysner for the opening of Tolhuistuin.
2006Hogelanders, a movie from the windows of the residence of a neighborhood, as a metaphor for their view on life.
Own initiative in collaboration with Tessa Joosse for Over-het-IJ Festival visual art route.
1984Amsterdammer naar Afrika, a journey with an ‘amsterdammertje’, a well-known street object to stop cars from driving into the canal. An audio-visual travelogue was presented at the Festival of Roots in the Melkweg Amsterdam. Own initiative.
1984Participant in a Textile atelier in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.

Textile art

From a very young age on I worked with textile, making clothes for my doll knitting, sewing and cross stitching. On the age of six I knew how to handle an electric sewing machine.

Recently I returned to my atelier to make new things. I work with used fabrics from legacies of loved once and make some beauty out of it in memory containing objects and collars.

Textile is such an intimate material, the texture and feel direct on our bodies as our second skin in which we show ourself in self-expression or adjustment to moral and status.

Theater design 1984-2008

I started my artistic practice in 1984 as a designer of costumes, sets and props for dance- and theatre groups. The performances were made as a team on current subjects that held our interest at the time. Our ambition was to reach an audience which was not used to go to theaters. In the play we frequently involved the stories and skills of the target audience. We played on the street, in gyms, on festivals and in community centers. I was the permanent designer of a collective of actors and directors ensembled in the foundation Lopend Vuur (Running Fire) and several other groups. (See Theaterencyclopedie.nl).


AbroudFriends RoadshowTheatre Olympia, Paris, France
 Music-theater StautFestival Darmstadt, Germany
 Textile AtelierOuagadougou, Burkina Faso
DomesticToneelschuur HaarlemProduction house for young theatre makers
 HETVEEM production houseLaboratory for contemporary mime theatre
 Frascati Production houseSociety critical performances
 Danstheater AYAModern dance for /with youth
 RinocerosMime theatre for children
 Theatergroep StreepTheatre with disabled actors
 Youth theatre 020Intercultural theatre with youth
 Lopend VuurTheatre in the discrict

The community-projects are executed in collaboration with cultural -and social organizations and individual artists.

Individual artists: Tessa Joosse – filmmaker, Espen Strandhagen – grafisch vormgever www.strandhagen.nl, Helga de Waal – webdesign www.jtdesign.nl, Anton der Kinderen – theatervormgever, Poet Stunt – componist, Andrea Droëst – theatervormgever, Paulina Matusiak – grafisch vormgever www.matusiak.nl, Soula Notos – actrice / presentatrice www.soula.nl, Rachel Corner – fotograaf www.rachelcorner.nl, Judith Leysner – videokunstenaar / performer, Bart vanHeijst – fotograaf, Janneke Küpfer – videokunstenaar www.jakk.nl, Cocky Eek – inflatable arts www.cokkyeek.com, Evelien de Jong – presentatrice, Martijn Magre – stopmotion movies, Jeroen Beekmans + Joop de Boer –  www.golfstromen.nl, Esther Maagdenberg – antropologe www.esthermaagdenberg.com

Advisors: Francine Mendelaar – Materiaalfonds,  Maaike Post – Tekstschrijver, Arjen Barel – Bureau Barel, Karina Mol – STEW

Cultural -and social organisations: Amsterdams Fonds Voor de Kunst, Woningbouwvereniging Eigen Haard, Woningcorporatie Ymere, Woningstichting St. Joseph, Stadsdeel Amsterdam-Noord, Over-het-IJ festival, Tolhuistuin, MTV-networks, Cordaan, DOCK, Filmhuis Cavia, Combiwel, Ihlia, OBA.