Weaver or Woven Blog 2019-10-04T17:41:50+09:30

Artist in Residence at Kominatus Salihara , Jakarta , September/ October, 2019



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 upon 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 Elma and couldn’t help but feel like i was 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.


September 24th, 2019|

A website is born…


And welcome to my new website!!


I want to start my first  blog with thanks to  the Larrakia people, the first nations custodians of the beautiful  country where i live, walk, swim, dance, play, love, run, create, cry and laugh. Over the past 25 years   in Darwin,  I have found  a home, my people, my dog,  my children and endless inspiration  from  the Arafura Sea  and it’s  captivatingcreatures .

I first met  Aunty Bilawara 20 years ago, when she invited  me to weave with her and her family  at Rapid Creek where she introduced me to her country and ancestors.  Many years later we were weaving together again, to make a  large public  art work, titled Intertwined, a pair of large Bronze Jellyfish situated at East Point, commissioned by the City of Darwin in 2014. At the opening ceremony she  held a smoking ceremony, saying-

“Jellyfish totem speaks to us of simplifying our  life – that we should go with the flow of the currents and allow things to take their course. She shows us how to rest in the earthly realm and not to rush. We are encouraged to take a walk; get close to nature so you can see the world in a better light. How apt is this wisdom – it fits perfectly with where Aly’s wonderful jellyfish children are located”

I  extend my thanks to all the  the traditional owners of the many lands  I traverse to create, teach and learn, especially the wonderful  women   at Anindilyakwa Arts with  whom i have been  blessed to work with since  2015.

I also   acknowledge my own ancestors.    My  grandparents , who left the Netherlands with my father and his three Siblings,   boarding  a boat from Amsterdam to arrive in  Fremantle, Western Australia  in 1956. One of my earliest memories was spending hours in my Oma’s garden and green house, cramming flowers and leaves into bottles to produce  potions and perfumes .

I am still  mixing and making  magic  and this  is a digital diary of  my creative adventures . Thank you so  much  for your interest ,  I am hoping through this blog  I can share ideas,  recipes and stories so that you too are inspired .

After all….

A creative life is a blessed life.


Bernadette Watt, Aly de Groot, Maicie Lalara, Sharna Wurramurra, Image Cortesy of Anindilyakwa Arts, 2019 Photo Credit – Benjamin Ward

September 22nd, 2019|