Thursday, February 12, 2009
Book: Fabric of Enchantment: Batik from the North Coast of Java
The batik designs of Java's North Coast are particularly varied in both design and colour. With their fanciful, highly imaginative motifs and luminous tints, they are more immediately appealing than the sombre blue and brown batik of Central Java. It was a chance encounter in a Hong Kong antique shop that inspired photojournalist Inger McCabe Elliot to devote over three decades to assembling one of the world's finest collections, which she presented to the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art in 1991.
This volume, published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Museum, celebrates Elliott's gift and presents her collection. Essays by authorities on the subject examine the 82 featured batik textiles from historical, cultural and aesthetic perspectives. The essays are followed by biographies of some of the most distinguished batik designers and entrepreneurs and a descriptive catalogue of the batiks. Appendices document design formats and motifs, as well as the complete production process of North Coast batiks.