As a recipient of a Melbourne University Asialink Grant, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be a resident artist at Kominatus Salihara in Jakarta. My travels started with a stop on the way at the Threads of Life dye garden and studio to learn traditional Indonesian Batik and plant dying techniques in the Soul of Batik workshop exploring Indonesia’s batik tradition with respected International Batik artists Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam from Brahma Tirta Sari studios in Yogjakarta . The Soul of Batik Workshop involved exploring both the processes of natural dyeing and batik .
I had a wonderful few days submerged in dye baths of indigo and mangrove root and only burnt myself a little bit with hot wax starting new projects on paper and fabric to work on in Jakarta.
Upon my arrival at Kominatus, I was warmly welcomed by Enning, Rebecca and Selma and couldn’t help but feel like Iwas in the right place at the right time, with the opportunity to see the incredible puppet production- Aquavitae: The Sea Dog, by the French Theatre company , Teater Boneka.
A spectacular plea from the sea, the show resonated with with themes close to my heart, namely ocean pollution and the ecological imbalance which is seeing the worlds oceans plagued with unprecedented populations of jellyfish . The story is told beautifully, with puppets made by hand from ghost net and drift wood, along with dance and digital media. I loved the projections in a fish tank and the dancers dressed in plastic bags, beautifully mimicking the movements of my favorite sea creatures. I was overwhelmingly inspired and spent the following day at Kominatus, weaving ( more) jellyfish from fishingline.