Javanese batik has become a powerful cultural intermediary between Indonesia, Europe, and Africa. The process began when Stamford Raffles urged British textile producers to copy Indonesian batiks. Production of imitations later shifted to the Netherlands, and by the end of the 19th century, the textiles had found a new market in West Africa. “Wax-prints” and “Java-prints” are nowadays an integral part of the African textile tradition.
Javanese batik also became an important source of inspiration for European artists and designers, in particular, in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements of the Netherlands. Javanese designs influenced the wider world of European fashion and fine arts as well: batik motifs can be found in the work of modern artists such as Henri Matisse, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and Henry van de Velde.
About the speaker
Maria Wronska-Friend is an anthropologist and curator pursuing interests in textiles and dress of Southeast Asia. In particular, the role of textiles as cross-cultural facilitators that connect diverse groups of people around the world. She earned a PhD at the Institute of Arts at the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw. Since 1992 she has been associated with James Cook University, Australia, where she is now Senior Research Fellow at the College of Arts, Society and Education. Her current research investigates textile connections between Indonesia and Japan. She is the author of several books and exhibition catalogues, including Art Drawn with Wax. Javanese Batik in Poland (2008) and Batik Jawa bagi Dunia. Javanese Batik to the World (2016).
This lecture is free. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration is required.
Image: Courtesy of Maria Wronska-Friend