December 4, 2009

Synchronicity part IV Bowerbird

During my second exhibition about my project "Tour des poulets" in the StadsGalerij Breda in November 2008, a man told me that my work reminded him of something. Usually people then start mentioning artists that make similar work. But this time it wasn't an artist, it was a bird. My work reminded him of the Bowerbird (in Dutch: Prieelvogel).
This little bird makes beautiful, hut shaped nests and decorates it with organic carpets! He gathers leaves, berries and twigs and sort them on color to impress the females.

I'm still pretty obsessed by this tropical bird, once in a while it pops back in my mind and it fascinates me all over again. It's so strange and typical that a bird makes similar work as I do, our better said, I make carpets like bowerbirds.

The first ricecarpet I made, I made of cooked rice to feed the birds in my backyard on a more pretty way. After that I did the project "Tour des poulets", in which chickens ate my ricecarpets.

Even when it's not birds eating my work, they are never very far away in my work. If they are not in the pattern, I find them some were else in my work.
When I was looking at the recording of the try-out of Dance in a ricecarpet in Indonesia I noticed Barbara's tattoo coming into the frame after she danced away my carpet, a bird...

Maybe all the hours I spend with my grandfather spotting birds have something to do with it...

December 1, 2009

Something else, Bio-fashion in Colombia

End 2008 an 'Eco friendly' fashionshow was held in Cali, Colombia. With flowers and (banana) leaves different outfits by different designers were made. "A Walking Garden" is definitely my favorite.

"A Walking Garden" by designer Hugo Alberto Puentes

By Colombian designer Cristhian Vargas

By Colombian designer Angela Aponte

By Colombian designer Iveth Jaramillo

November 28, 2009

Synchronicity deel III Tapa

Artist Emmy Dijkstra was in France for a residence when I was in Indonesia. She stayed there for a month. When I returned from Indonesia and visited her website to see how her residence was, I saw all these new, beautiful works. What struck me the most were the similarities between our journey and our work.
During her residence she started making paper dresses. She printed colorful patterns based on her surroundings on paper.This dress she based on a visit. On the ceiling corn was hanging to dry. This image inspired her to make this dress.
This change in Emmy's work is really surprising, especially the bold use of colors.

In France Emmy visited an exhibition about Tapa (cloth).

"Tapa cloth (or simply tapa) is a bark cloth made in the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Tapa can be painted, decorated by rubbing, stamping, stencilling, smoking (Fiji - "masi Kuvui") or dyeing. The patterns of Tongan, Samoan, and Fijian tapa usually form a grid of squares, each of which contains geometrical patterns with repeated motifs such as fish and plants, for example four stylised leaves forming a diagonal cross. Traditional dyes are usually black and rust-brown, although other colours are also known."
- From Wikipedia

Tapa is also made on Java (and other places in Indonesia). When I flipped through the pages of the book 'Indonesia, De Ontdekking Van Het Verleden', a gift from Susan, I noticed that I put little cards in it, examples I used for making my silk-screenprint for the Grafiekmap De Brabantse Ring. You never guess, the cards where on the pages about Bark Cloth.

Something else, Hawaii patterns by Alfred Shaheen

Patroon-patroon-patroon-patroon by Alfred Shaheen

Surfing online, looking for Batik, patterns and traditional dances, I found these interesting designs by Alfred Shaheen.
Alfred Shaheen (1922-2008) was in the 50's the most important designer of Hawaii. He made beautiful dresses, bikinis and the very famous Hawaii shirts.
The traditional motifs are used in cocktail dresses and lampshades.
The patterns/motifs are being printed with silkscreen on the fabric.

More about Alfred Shaheen on

November 20, 2009

Batik Carnival in Solo

I would love to see this in real life someday...

Synchronicity part II Batik day

Since this year Batik is the official heritage of Indonesia. After a long struggle with Malaysia about this craft, Indonesia can finally say "Batik is ours!".
To celebrate, they made October 2nd Batik day. Everyone wears Batik on Batik Day, I even heard people getting discount on flying because they were wearing Batik on Batik Day!
And I'm really happy they decided to celebrate Batik Day on my birthday!
When I told people in Indonesia that my birthday was also on October 2nd, they said it must be meant to be for me to learn about Batik!

November 14, 2009

Synchronicity part I Gelatik

This brand (for paper) is the most popular for its notebooks in Indonesia. First time I saw one I was sitting in a taksi, outside was a man on a scooter with a bag on his shoulder. A little green corner of the notebook was sticking out of the bag.
One day later at a small restaurant I went to pay the bill. There it was again, on the counter. It was the same Batik pattern I saw the day before. But that was not all, on the cover was a small drawing of two ricebirds. The brand of the Batik patterned notebook is 'Gelatik', the Indonesian word for ricebird/Java sparrow.
As the saying goes: coincidence does not exist, it can't be just by accident that I called my little ricebird Batik and that while I'm making my journey to Batik, I found these Batik covered Gelatik notebooks! Because this is not all the synchronicity that came on my path, this is part I.

7 november Klokkespijs

Mijn terugkomst ingeluid met de radioshow Klokkespijs gehost door interimhost Koen de Wit. Deze show is zoals Koen zegt meer het verhaal behind the blog, maar ook gewoon een kort & bondig reisverslag (een maand in een uur :)) met geluidsfragmenten uit Java erdoor verweven. Dus mocht je hem nog niet geluisterd hebben live op Radio Centraal, kun je hem nu beluisteren via Koen's Timeline. Enjoy!

Akhir kepergian

End of my journey...

Been back a few days now, 11 days to be exact. Finally with two feet on the ground again, got a Dutch cold and had a big jetlag. De reis naar Batik, The journey to Batik, is partly over, and has partly just begun. Akhir kepergian dan memulai baru.

and the beginning of a new one!

November 8, 2009

Dance in a ricecarpet

On my last day in Yogyakarta, Indonesia we did a tryout for my upcoming project "Dance in a ricecarpet" with Barbara van Kooten.

November 6, 2009

Java biru

Before I left for Java I bought this cheerful Summer trousers in a chocking blue color. I feared it would be maybe to much in Indonesia..

It seems to be Indonesia's favorite color! And it's one of my favorites as well!

November 5, 2009

The journey to Batik

Sabine Bolk is back in Belanda/NL with a lot of inspiration & stories

Dear De reis naar Batik(Journey to Batik)-blog travelers,Yesterday morning 6 o'clock I arrived at Schiphol, Amsterdam (The Netherlands/Belanda) after leaving from Yogyakarta, Indonesia around 13 o'clock Tuesday. I'm a still a bite spaced out by the time difference (6 hours), but today I update my Blogspot De Reis naar Batik (Journey to Batik) with photos made by Denny Antyo who really saved me the first day in Indonesia (and many after that) and showed me the past month the real and very nice city Yogyakarta! And also I updated it with my own photos and stories. So for who followed my blog, click through it again and discover more! For who didn't follow my blog (shame on you ;)) discover my journey to Batik and follow it for my next journey to Java hopefully next year.

Saturday 7 november I will be in the radioshow Klokkespijs on Radio Centraal hosted by interim Koen de Wit. I will tell about my stay in Indonesia and play some field recordings that I made including the Monolog "Sum; Cerita dari Rantau" from Teater Garasi and Aris Yaitu playing guitar (and singing) in the back garden of Rumah Seni Yaitu in Semarang.

To listen Klokkespijs on internet go to the streaming on Radio Centraal, to listen it live turn your radio on in Antwerp, Belgium on 106.7 FM. To listen to my previous weather-reports from Java, Indonesia (Klokkespijs 10/10/'09 and Klokkespijs 25/10/'09) go to the site of radiohost/musician/photographer Koen de Wit.I want to thank everyone for all the support from Holland. I really liked all the comments on my blog from home!
And a very special thanks to:

Fonds BKVB
for making my dream come true!

Koen de Wit
for all his love & support & missing me a month and taking care of my bird Batik and my plants and making Curfew really good!! Thanks honey, next time you have to come with me, because I don't want to miss you so long again :)!

Denny Antyo
For the nice time in Yogya and making so much time to show me (and Barbara) around, thank you!

Tubagus P. Svarajati
I really loved it in Semarang, hope to come back soon and make a good exhibition at Rumah Seni Yaitu. You really inspired me. Thanks for all the nice and interesting conversations about art, batik and life!

Zie Batik
For show me the beautiful Batiks and wanting to teach me next year the soul & technique of Batik in Semarang.

William Kwan
For meeting me in Yogya. I learned so much about Batik and the importance of keeping cultural traditions safe for future generations. Hope to see you next year. Thank you for introducing me in Jeruk, I really hope I can join your project there!

Barbara van Kooten
for joining me in Yogya and for making a start on our project "De dans in een rijsttapijt" (The dance in a ricecarpet).

The pembatik women from the village Jeruk
I'm so happy that I can come to Jeruk and study Batik

Miss Tika
for welcoming me in Jeruk & showing me Lasem

Tommas Titus Kurniawan
For the good time in Semarang, Lasem and Pekalongan and the very beautiful photos!

Aris Yaitu


Krisna Murti
for introduce me to Denny and making certain that I was okee, hope to meet you in person next year!

Denny's parents

Hadjir Digdodarmodjo
For my first Batiklessons

Isa Gama
for the Fonds BKVB shirts and banners, and all the comments on my blog

My mother & Susan van Uden
To welcome me on Schiphol, so sweet!

for meeting me and wanting to organize an Artist Talk in Yogya when I come back.

Teater Garasi


Sarnadi Adam

Dedy Irja Pratama
for all the hours I could spend on the internet at Warnet, Semarang

Kedai Kebun Forum
Also for the hours on internet and the very nice movie nights!

Hotel Puri Artha

Hotel Indrakila

The Artist Room at Rumah Seni Yaitu

Hani Winotosastro


helping Koen with Curfew IV

and Kuoni, Malaysia airlines, all the becakdrivers, taksidrivers (especially chauffeur Bambang) and Joglosemar touringbus!Greetings
Sabine Bolk

P.S. Saturday 14 November from 16 till 18 o'clock my silkscreen prints will be showed during a group exhibition of CBK in Galerie De Kring in Roosendaal. For more information click here. You can visit the exhibition till the 10th of January 2010.

November 4, 2009

Back in Belanda

Arrived this morning 5.30h at Schiphol, Amsterdam and was being welcomed by a true welcome Comitee(including mini-banner)! My mom, Susan and of course my sweet Koen were waiting for me, how sweet!
Now time to relax and tomorrow I update my log with some delayed news from Yogya, Indonesia!

November 2, 2009

Last day

Last day here, did a lot these last days so I have to update my blog when I'm back home. But first I'm going to enjoy my last night here!
We just made the first Dance in a ricecarpet in the backyard at Denny's house. I'm so happy, it was a blast!
Tomorrow I'm leaving, but will arrive on Wednesday in the Netherlands...

Me & Barbara

October 31, 2009

Ke Solo

Tomorrow I visit Solo by train with Denny. Solo is going to be the last Batikcity I visit this journey. In Solo they ahve a kampoeng were they amke Batik, but also canting and caps (Batik-stamps). It's going to be very interesting.
On this picture the steps towards a completly colored Batik.

Laatste les Batik Course

Eerste kleuring & waslaagDr.Hajir verft en de Becakchauffeur die me op kwam halen (veel te vroeg was hij er alweer) keek mee.De test lap. Wit, oranje/zalm, licht rood en donker rood. Moet er zo om lachen, want andere laten het ontwerp heel leeg, maar ik heb em helemaal voor gezet. Hoe meer oefening, hoe beter.Eerste verf laag, waar de was bruin/geel zit blijft wit & waar de was groenig is, licht blauw.Om de blauwe kleur te krijgen, moet de stof in de zon gehouden worden. Door het chemische proces wordt het blauw, heel mooi blauw.Ben zo blij met het resultaat, echt een goede oefening. De enige echte reis naar Batik :)!

Menjepret sama penari

Dit zie je als uitzicht tijdens het Ramayana ballet, om in de lijn van Borobudur te blijven poseerde we weer, meer mensen fotografeerde ons dan de tempels :).Na het optreden mag je met de dansers op de foto. In het midden een van de hoofdrolspelers, De Aap.Ik wou Barbara & Denny fotograferen met de mooie meisjes, maar ineens stond iedereen erbij...wat een chaos!Wel een leuke foto :)