October 12, 2017

Where Batik Belongs

Where Batik Belongs by Ada Van Hoorebeke, Frankfurt am Main, 2017

Where Batik Belongs - Frankfurt am Mein (Grandmother) 2017 by Ada Van Hoorebeke 

Little Red Riding Hood Batik Bandana Workshop

This weekend I'm travelling to Brussel to see and to participate with the work 'Fake Calligraphy' by Ada van Hoorebeeke and Maartje Fliervoet, a co-creation with the Gent based Artspace Manoeuvre.
I met Ada a few months ago when I was in Köln for the Mini Batik Symposium at Galerie Smend. Rudolf told me another one of the "new generation", as he calls us, would join. When I introduced myself asking about her upcoming exhibition, Ada asked me if I was the writer of this blog. She told me she got inspired by my posts about Fairytale Batiks. And that she had printed copies of it to make her exhibition 'Where Batik Belongs'.
We continued sharing during lunch. She learned making Batik during a residency in Gambia and is now exploring Javanese Batik. She complimented me on my interesting take on Batik and that she really liked my writing. While continuing Ada casually said: "My birthday is on Batik Day, the 2nd of October". I casually replied: "Mine too ".


Me & Ada, Selfie to share our birthdate is on Batik Day

Talking about synchronicity! Rudolf made a special announcement after lunch of our discovery.
In Where Batik Belongs Ada was exploring the Fairytale Batiks and especially Little Red Riding Hood. She gave a Bandana workshop in which you make your own red dyed Batik headscarf. I recently learned that Bandana comes from the Indian technique Bandhani which is a type of tie-dye. So a different way of creating dots on textile.
Ada's style seems rough, investigative and spontaneous, yet everything comes together, fits. Like a pattern taken from an actual Batik Tulis from the Smend collection which is repeated as a backdrop for the Grandmother picture (see picture above). The dyes are natural, yet from unconventional sources. An Art take on Batik. Where Art meets Traditional Textiles. When Batik is put into a museum as Art. When you are exploring where Batik belongs...

This weekend wil be a different yet again interesting take on Batik.
Fake Calligraphy is a sculpture inspired by the calligraphic batik, Batik Besurek, a tradition from Bengkulu (Indonesia). Batik Besurek, originally conceived by Indonesian Muslims, is derived from the Arab script but the signs are not always readable as such. The Fake Calligraphy sculpture presented at WIELS is inspired by those calligraphic batiks that are playing with the aesthetics of a written language abstracted from its original meaning. The sculpture is made as such that it can be activated, reminiscent of a workshop, where it serves as an environment to create a new interpretation of calligraphic batiks. In this sculpture different stages of batik production such as creating a design, transferring it in wax on texte and dying with natural dyes are used as a means of communication that goes beyond language barriers. Fake Calligraphy aims to be a platform for exchange of speech, body language and the sharing of different cultural knowledge in an artistic and social context.

Looking forward to meet my Batik Day Birthday Twin again!



More about

Ada van Hoorebeeke on adavanhoorebeke.blogspot.nl

Fake Calligraphy on www.wiels.org 


October 2, 2017

Pattern Edition Birthday Batik Day Statements

Batik with banana flower motif by Ibu Ramini 
& wax print with bananas by African Textiles Holland
Banana plant from Taman Indonesia & Bananas from Ekoplaza, 


Since I started my Batik Statement series in 2012, I've also been making Batik Statements to celebrate Batik Day & my birthday, both today! 
Last year I was standing in Barbara's jungle garden in Sleman, near Yogyakarta. I made a series with the newly bought Batiks. The year before I posted my version of 'We Can Do It'. Which was used this year for the IDFX project 'Colourful Woman Power'!
I use my Batik Statements as reflections. Reflections of what I find important, what and who inspires me and to share my and others love for Batik. My series maybe started as a joke, but they became part of my work. This part is always tricky and something I'm always contemplating about: What is my work as an artist? And when is it not Art?
I consider myself as an artist first, always, in every role I get or play. I say role, but you can fill in job, assignment, idea...Of course when I blog, when I'm writing, when I organise an event or do someones PR, I'm not making Art, yet I am not not an artist at that moment. From everything I do I get inspiration and I also learned "making an artwork" can have many forms. In my case; a nature walk, a film, a temporary carpet, a performance, a school project, yes maybe even my Batik Statements, maybe even my blog. When I write, I feel I create, but the next day I have to take a photo, so I end up on a cold February morning in a Wax print with a banana plant at my feet before my camera. I ended up not using the pictures, till now, because they didn't fit the idea I got from making them; the new Pattern Edition Batik Statement series

Made this photo in February

When me and Koen go somewhere, recently I end up taking a Batik or another fabric with me. I'm walking around with this idea in my head and think out places to make the shot. Like the previous posted Batik Buketan and Pisan Bali made in a public garden and at a museum. In the same way. I ended up posing with ducks at the Botanical Garden. Because, well because I have this crazy Batik dress with flying ducks and a khanga from my brother with ducks and I needed to pose in it with actual ducks. I love that Koen supports me in my crazy ideas!

Posing with ducks at Botanical Garden in Utrecht in May

Wearing Batik Cap dress bought at Taman Indonesia, with a Khanga with ducks and my Sankofa earring from Ubuntu

While documenting some of my Batiks I brought with me from my last journey, I got the idea of staging Tracey Emin's famous 'I've Got It All' photo using Batiks instead of money. I had muscle ache for a week after this picture haha. And then I though, how do I share this? I love Tracey Emin, but who will get it? And, why am I making these statements? 
Well, I guess because I'm an artist.

After Tracey Emin's 'I've Got It All' (2000), made in March

I will be making a booklet to celebrate 5 years of making Batik Statemenst! I already had some pre-orders, sorry for the delay, I hope to be ready at the end of this year. You can pre-order your copy at sabine{at}sabinebolk.nl and you will receive first option to buy it! They will be limited edition, so le me know if you want one!