Batik art works, paintings and travels by Marina Elphick
Leksa Ganesha Batik Gallery, Tembi, Yogyakarta
This treasure of a Gallery lies hidden away in Tembi in the Bantul region, on the outskirts of Yogyakarta.
A stone’s throw away from rice fields, Leksa Ganesha exhibits a stock of illuminating contemporary batik by the region’s most respected and talented batik artists and makers.
Leksa Ganesha opened three years ago, established by Tatang Elmy Wibowo and Aprat Koeswadji, coinciding with the formation of a Cooperative of artists, all of whom exhibit in the Gallery. These include: Bambang Darmo, Slamet Riyanto, Mr Robimin, Joko, Mr Trisno, Widayana Koeswadji, Joko Koeswadji, Mrs Maya Hanjani, Mrs Aminah and Mrs Mufidah. The Gallery is attached to Tatang’s family home, his father too was a talented batik artist, though he has stepped back because of the demands of the family’s rice fields.
I visited the studios of all these artists last November 2014 having first met them in 2013 after being awarded the research scholarship. It was good to catch up with the artists and see their new batik work. Most of them have had a good year in terms of sales, several of them working towards a special exhibition in Bali this May.
While talking to Tatang I was surprised to hear that he, Aprat and Joko Koeswadji had been premier league footballers in their early careers ! Tatang then worked as a film maker for The Friends of The Earth for 14 years. He studied video and editing in The Netherlands in 2008 and still works with film alongside his current passion for batik and natural dyes. He said that the creative process of film making inspired him to work in batik.