Saturday, July 18, 2015

Aboriginal Batiks From Northern Queensland (Australia)[1]
ArtCloth

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
This blog spot is a great supporter of Aboriginal ArtCloth and prints on paper since it is simply great! The posts below are in this genre.
Stanley and Tapaya – Ernabella Arts
ArtCloth from Tiwi Islands
Aboriginal Batik From Central Australia
ArtCloth from Utopia
ArtCloth from the Women of Ernabella
ArtCloth from Kaltjiti
Australian Aboriginal Silk Paintings
Contemporary Aboriginal Prints on Paper
Batiks from Kintore
Batiks From Warlpiri
ArtWorks from Remote Aboriginal Communities
Urban Aboriginal ArtCloths


Introduction
During the early 1980s and 90s the teaching of batik to Aboriginal women and men was on the move from its original source at Ernabella to other aboriginal art centers as far afield as Western Australia and in Cairns, far Northern Queensland (Australia).

Cairns is in Northern Queensland (Australia).

Screen printing has been an integral part of the Aboriginal and Islander Art Course at the Far North Queensland Institute of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) since its inception in 1984.
Banggu Minjaany Art Gallery


General Techniques Used On Aboriginal ArtCloths[1]
Batik
Batik is an artistic process in which designs are created on fabric using a wax resist. The wax is applied to the fabric via a brush or canting, the latter is a tool that holds the wax in a reservoir to enable the artist to draw the wax onto the fabric.

The wax is applied successively between dye baths of different colors, with each new waxing blocking out (or resisting) the dye to penetrate those waxed areas, thereby enabling the artist to control the coloration of the fabric.

The dyes need to be light fast cold water dyes in order to ensure that the wax can be removed without altering the coloration of the fabric as well as to ensure that the handle of the fabric will return to its original feel. Napthol dyes are the dyes of choice.

After a final rinse in water, the fabrics are hung to dry normally in a shaded area, since sunlight can cause the dyed cloths to fade or become fugitive . The wax is usually removed from the fabric using boiling water, which also contains a little soda ash or caustic soda to assist in the removal of the wax. For extra finishing some fabrics are dry-cleaned.

Lino-Block Printing On Fabric
Lino block is cut in order to produce a raised surface, which on inking, is then pressed or printed onto the surface of the fabric. Squares of linoleum are used for printing, with the designs drawn onto the block and then with lino-carving tools or knives cut out to create a positive or raised image for printing. The ink or dye is applied to the raised relief using rollers. The block is then pressed or printed onto the surface of the fabric in a repeat or sometimes random manner.

Ink or dye can be used. In the case of ink it is fixed onto the fabric using heat. For dyes, they first must be thickened with a thickening agent (such as Manutex) to allow the dye to adhere to the relief surface of the block. The fabric is then steamed in order to fix the color onto the fabric and the thickening agent is removed by washing the fabric out in water.

Screen Printing
Using a silk screen one can transfer an image onto a fabric. A silk screen is a fine mesh usually nowadays made from a synthetic fiber, rather than from silk (an old custom that is no longer used due to cost). The synthetic fiber is stretch across a rectangular or square frame, usually made from wood. The dye or ink is forced through the screen via a squeegee (that is, a wooden handle with a rubber blade that is attached to the handle).

There are various methods used to transfer an image. One is to make a photo emulsion and develop a permanent image on the silk screen. A negative image is placed on the surface of a screen, which has been coated with a light sensitive emulsion. The screen is exposed to light causing an image to be formed on the surface of the screen. The unexposed emulsion is washed out leaving a “positive” image resident on the screen. The ink or dye is pushed through spaces of the screen that are clear of any emulsion – the emulsion that is left on the screen acts as the resist, stopping the dye from passing through the screen and so preventing it from entering the fabric.

Rubylith film can also be used to mask the screen. The film is cut into a design which is adhered to the silk screen; the film prevents inks or dyes passing through the screen onto the fabric and therefore acts as a resist.

Hand Painting With Fiber Reactive Dyes
Artists also hand paint silks using fiber reactive dyes. To create the design, a Gutta resist is employed. Gutta is a thick honey-like substance, which prevents dyes from bleeding , so the artist can color areas devoid of the Gutta. The Gutta is usually applied from a bottle with a fine nozzle, thereby allowing the designs to be rendered in great detail.

Dyes are painted in the spaces enclosed by the Gutta. The dyes are called fiber reactive, since chemical bonds are formed between the dye and the fabric ensuring that they are strongly adhered to the fabric surfaces. After the dye painting process has been completed, the cloth is steam-fixed to the dye and the Gutta is washed out. Steam provides the energy for the reaction between the dye and the fabric to occur quickly. This process is best suited to silk fabrics. To make painting the silk more easy and to apply the dye more precisely, the silks are sometimes stretched across a frame.


Aboriginal Batik From Northern Queensland[1]

Painters: Boony-Jo Tait and Sean Perrier.
Title: Looking Back On My Dreaming (1993) (Detailed View).
Technique: Batik On Cotton.
Size: 128.5 cm (width) x 280 cm (length).
Place: Cairns, Queensland (Australia).
Collection: National Gallery Of Victoria.

Painter: Barry Bismark.
Title: Fish Design (1991).
Technique: Batik On Cotton.
Size: 85 cm (width) x 133.5 cm (length).
Place: Cairns, Queensland (Australia).
Collection: National Gallery Of Victoria.

Painter: Jenuarrie.
Title: Wall Hanging (1992).
Technique: Batik On Cotton.
Size: 111 cm (width) x 160 cm (length).
Place: Queensland (Australia).
Collection: National Gallery Of Victoria.

Painter: Heather Walker.
Title: Wall Hanging (1992).
Technique: Batik On Cotton.
Size: 110 cm (width) x 160 cm (length).
Place: Queensland (Australia).
Collection: National Gallery Of Victoria.

Painter: Robert Mast.
Title: Turtle Shell Mask (1995).
Technique: Batik On Cotton.
Size: 83.7 cm (width) x 200 cm (length).
Place: Cairns, Queensland (Australia).
Collection: National Gallery Of Victoria.

Painter: Brian Robinson.
Title: Le-op (Face Of Man) (1995).
Technique: Batik On Cotton.
Size: 86 cm (width) x 116 cm (length).
Place: Cairns, Queensland (Australia).
Collection: National Gallery Of Victoria.

Painter: Unknown.
Title: Turtle-Shell Mask (1994).
Technique: Screen Print On Cotton.
Size: 90 cm (width) x 136.7 cm (length).
Place: Cairns, Queensland (Australia).
Collection: National Gallery Of Victoria.

Painter: Sophie Buli.
Title: Dharrri (Head Dress) (1995).
Technique: Batik On Cotton.
Size: 87 cm (width) x 144 cm (length).
Place: Cairns, Queensland (Australia).
Collection: National Gallery Of Victoria.

Painter: Marsat Newman.
Title: Island Mask (1994).
Technique: Batik On Cotton.
Size: 72.5 cm (Width) x 82 cm (Length).
Place: Cairns, Queensland (Australia).
Collection: National Gallery Of Victoria.

Painter: Ken Thaiday Jnr..
Title: Dance (1991).
Technique: Screen Print On Cotton.
Size: 80.6 cm (width) x 132.7 cm (length).
Place: Cairns, Queensland (Australia).
Collection: National Gallery Of Victoria.
Note: Printed textiles such as Ken Thaiday Junior’s Dance (1991) are dynamic one-off experimental ArtCloths that had grown out of his work with linocuts, in which stark figuration overrides pattern. Thaiday’s cotton screen print evokes male dancers in grass skirts and dharri (head-dresses) energetically dancing and beating drums.

Reference:
[1] J. Ryan and R. Healy, Raiki Wara, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (1998).

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