A great first day

Aprat preparing Tatang's batik for Napthol dyeing.
Aprat preparing Tatang’s batik for Napthol dyeing.
Aprat dyeing batik.
Aprat dyeing batik.

I think I am now acclimatised, just have to get used to the incredible heat and humidity, very hot and sticky !
I had intended to have a very easy day, but when I went into the little Gallery Leksa Ganesha around the corner from the hotel,the day took on an all together different path. The owner and Batik artist, Tatang, who spoke very good English, showed me his work, talked to me about his ideas and how he is incorporating traditional designs into his abstract work, so serendipitous because this is just what I am interested in discovering.
After seeing more of his work he asked me if I’d like to go to his studio in another district of yogjakarta and meet his uncle, Aprat Koeswadji, a very skilled batik artist from a family who have been batiking for generations. Tatang needed to go to his studio to dye his batik and I was invited to watch. It was quite fascinating and very different to the way I work, they were using Napthol dyes, with quite toxic chemicals, and they boiled out all the wax in a solution of soda ash to remove the wax. The resulting artwork was very fine despite quite rustic working conditions.
After that treat Tatang took me in a Becak (rickshaw type vehicle ) to another artist’s gallery and Studio, an amazing guy named Slamet Riyanto, again with a very modern take on traditional batik. They were all so generous with their time and were interested In my work and what I was doing in Indonesia. It has just been a very good day, I feel I am already getting a lot of insight and material to write up in my report.
I feel very privileged to have spent time talking to these artists !
Tomorrow Tatang has offered to take me to little Villages in the locality where traditional batik is made . I am hiring a driver for the day and we will see as much as we can.

2 thoughts on “A great first day

  1. Wow Marina, sounds fantastic and what lovely people you are meeting sharing their skills with you. Im loving the blog and the lovely way you have of writing about your experiences. Big hug from Sasha, Kevin & Cain xx


  2. Hello marina
    Sounds like your having a good time!! A very informative first day. I met up with Rich yesterday we went to a trade show then on to Westminster Cathedral to look at some of Eric Gills work, nice lettering but I’m not that keen on his carving, i look forward to reading more of your experiences over the next few weeks,
    All the best Jeremy x


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