|View from my studio across the fish pond|
As promised last week, I also have photos of some initial dye tests done with some palm seeds and mangosteen skins on my pre-mordanted sample fabrics. The different coloured stripes on the long pieces of fabric show the 8 different mordants I have used to see what colours they will give me from one dyepot. A great thing to be getting on with whilst it is raining.
|Using Madagasca palm nut windfalls|
The mangosteen skins gave a wonderful dyebath colour that didn't translate onto the fabric itself. I am not surprised but I also did not have many skins. I also read that a local artist prepares his mangosteen bath for 12 hours.....I will still not hold my breath (and those of you into natural dyeing will know why) but I am willing to give it another go. Of course, just getting the colour to take does not mean it will be light or colour fast......I have got a few excursions planned in the next couple of weeks to local dyers and craftspeople...stay tuned. I have also finished stitching the large cloth I was working on last week.
So, what else can you do in the rain? On Thursday night, the Rimbun Dahan resident artists all went to the Taksu Gallery for the opening of "Water" a 4-person exhibition that includes current RD resident Sabri Idrus. I was also quietly celebrating the fact that I have been at Rimbun Dahan for exactly one month. I met a few other Malaysian artists as well as award-winning film maker U-Wei Haji Saari, who will be in Canberra soon with his film 'Hanyut', based on Joseph Conrad's novel, at the Canberra International Film Festival. Canberrans, take note.
|Myself, Sabri Idrus and Filipino artist Carlo Gernale in front of Sabri's work.|
And speaking of Galleries, Rimbun Dahan has its own magnificent underground gallery that is designed around a central atrium, lit from an open landscaped turning circle in the driveway in front of the house. Too large to show it all here, but also a very impressive collection of contemporary Asian and Australian art.
|Always busy, always delicious. You can even 'Like' them on Facebook!|
|I got to join in, thank goodness I like paying attention to miniscule things......|
|Ikan bilis....BEFORE cleaning!|
These tiny, tiny ikan bilis are one of my favourite foods, mixed with a hot chilli sauce on top of rice, and more fresh chilli. But I certainly did not know you could/ or would CLEAN them! It is a bit like peeling prawns - take off the head, slit down the back with your thumbnail, clean out the dark intestinal tract, and put in a pile ready for cooking. Wow, I will never eat so many of them again without thinking about the hours of labour going into cleaning them. Usually, cleaning ikan bilis is not done due to their size and the fact they are already dried and stiff, but this was for a special wedding feast. There is a Bahasa term for this which I have forgotten, but basically it means 'coming from the heart'. I am sure someone can remind me of it.
And finally, although Muslim culture does not have the same belief that rain on your wedding day is a good omen, I am sure being married on 31st August is...not only is it Hari Merdeka but it is also during Hari Raya. Thankfully the Groom and his entourage arrived just before another downpour.
Congratulations to Sakinah and Kairol, and best wishes for your future happiness together.
|Kairol and Sakinah|
sehingga minggu depan (until next week)