April 21, 2018

Pattern Edition Batik Statement: Pagi-Sore

Happy Hari Kartini! 
The 21st of April is a special day for me, not only because we celebrate this Javanese princess birthday, but also because I started my blog on this date 9 years ago. Nine years, I can't believe I'm blogging this long and can't believe I'm heading towards 10 years! 

Last year I started my Pattern Edition Batik Statement series and was planning to do more, but my health got in the way. The booklet I promised to be made is also on hold. I still want to make it, but I need some budget to do so. So please pre-order at sabine{@}sabinebolk.nl, so I can make it happen!! 
But let's not talk about what didn't happen, let's share what did!
Nine years of blogging and 6 years of Batik Statements, two actual journeys to Batik and the first Wastra Weekend together with Marlisa of animal park Taman Indonesia. I started blogging last year also for Modemuze and very happy I did so!  

Last Monday I went with my honey to the exhibition 'Van Gogh & Japan' at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. I haven't been there in a long time. I had to see this exhibition, because his work inspired by Japan had a significant impact on me. I made a school project when I was 16 about Japanese woodblock printing and got interested in how it influenced Van Gogh's work. I have had this poster of his version of a Geisha for ever and it went with me from house to house. 
When I got reminded by Social Media about a work I made 7 years ago, I started thinking on what works I made inspired by Vincent and it turned out there were many
The last one was my design for a Pagi-Sore Batik. Batik representing Day and Night on one cloth. This way of designing a Batik was a clever way of incorporating two designs onto one cloth, so you could change your look during the day. I loved how it was also translated in the design by showing light and darkness, beginnings and endings, life and death. 
I designed the Batik in 2011, see 'Work in progress 'Difficult Time'. The idea behind it was to learn how a Batik design was made and how patterns change when made with actual canting. I was researching then, as I am now, Batik influenced by Indo-European entrepreneurs. I was curious to see what would happen if I designed a "European painting" and let this be made into a Javanese Batik. Would there be a miss-communication or re-interpretation of the patterns I drew?
I wanted to use Sunflowers, because of the obvious Van Gogh connection, but also because it is secretly such a global flower. I also wanted to include our way of seeing Europe, the Holidays to France with all the Sunflowers standing in rows pointing their heads towards the Sun. Next to that I wanted to incorporate growth, next to waiting; patience, next to strength. By repeating rows and rows of Sunflowers, growing & blooming, next to faded Sunflowers which feed garden birds through the winter months. 

After I made the painting, I traced it onto paper and send it to Pak William Kwan who would give it to the pembatiks of Jeruk. It was almost a year later that I got the first photos of the Batiks, two batiks made after my design! I believe they arrived by post even months after that. As many of my projects, they take time and I was happy to exhibit the Batiks for the first time at the beginning of this year at Taman Indonesia during our first Wastra Weekend (next Wastra Weekend 23 & 24 February 2019). Still haven't showed it together with the original painting, but I'm sure a perfect place will present itself over time.

Back to Monday. I thought it would be cool to pose with the Pagi-Sore Batik between the paintings at the Van Gogh museum. But being tackled by security didn't seem to be the best thing to do on a Monday, so Koen took a picture of me outside, after our visit. The picture this blogpost starts with. This photo inspired me to make a new Pattern Edition Batik Statement: Pagi-Sore.

I'm looking forward to the 10th year of my journey to Batik and wish to make a next actual journey to Batik (still only in wanting, not yet planned). 
So 9 years have passed of my quest, my exploration and research on Batik. The history and the future, the inspiration and the fashion, the heritage in other textiles like wax prints and how it is all connected through our (Dutch) colonial past. 
In what extra way would you, dear reader, like me to celebrate this 10th year of blogging? Please share your ideas and requests in the comments below! 
And which topics I should write about more? Let me know! 
My journey is made possible by your feedback, reads, shares, comments and motivation! So thank you, terima kasih and dankjewel! 

For more about my Batik design in the previous post 'Difficult Time'

For more on my work as an artist go to www.sabinebolk.nl