Thursday, February 5, 2009

Batik Tambal: Indonesian Fabric

The textiles presented by Batik Tambal are hand selected by Trish Hodge from a variety of locations in Indonesia. Trish has been making quilts for over thirty-five years. She has enjoyed the good fortune of combining her three great passions: textiles, travel, and teaching. She has lived in Tunisia, Syria and Indonesia where she studied and collected textiles and incorporated the motifs into her own work. She took full advantage of her recent five years of residence in Sumatra to intensively investigate Indonesian batik, culminating with her master's degree thesis, Indonesian Batik Design: Transmitter Of Culture.

She has taken instruction from a batik master in Jogyakarta where she worked side by side with his batik artisans. She has extended and enriched her palette as a textile artist by employing batik fabrics in her recent quilts.

Batik Tambal is an Indonesian term which translates to "Patches of Batik". Tambal Miring (shown below) is a traditional Indonesian batik pattern. The literal meaning of "Tambal Miring" is slanted patches of batik, but much more is implied in the term. As late as the beginning of the twentieth century certain priests in Indonesia wore patchwork jackets which were believed to have magical qualities. Indeed the batik tambal garments of the Sultan of Jogyakarta were said to have been passed down from heaven. In our own time Tambal Miring is a traditional design mode which imitates the clothing of the priests. Some of the magic undoubtedly persists.

It is a great pleasure to present the work of some of Indonesia's finest batik artists. The batik paintings make uniquely attractive wall hangings, and also lend themselves to use in wearable art, quilts, table runners, and other forms of patchwork art.