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Feature Article - September 1, 2005

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Feature Article

September 1, 2005

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Batiks from around the world:Inroads Studio Tour this weekend

by Jeff Green

Some elements of the Batik display at Arden Batik that will be a feature of the Inroads Studio Tour (click image for larger view) Sarah Hale has been working as a Batik artist for over 25 years at her studio-gallery in Arden, and this past spring she went to a conference in Boston that she describes as a life-altering event.

The first ever World Batik Conference to be held in North America was a 10-day event that included exhibitions from around the world at galleries throughout Boston, and intensive workshops on numerous different approaches to Batik.


“It was gratifying for me to see that many of the practices I’ve been developing over the years are also being used elsewhere,” Sarah Hale said from Arden Batik last week.

The experience at the world conference has had an impact on Sarah’s work this summer. She had employed some Japanese indigo technique in some of her works, and has been putting together an artist’s book about batik as well.

As a founding member of the Inroads Studio Tour, Sarah has always demonstrated Batik practice during the annual tour. This year, she will be putting together a World Batik display in the studio that adjoins her showroom. Along with a small selection of Batik pieces from Africa, Asia, and elsewhere, which she purchased at the World Conference, several of the pages from her artist’s book on Batik will be on display, as will some of her new pieces and exhibition catalogues from some of the exhibits at the World Conference.

What comes clear from looking at the variety of items Sarah Hale has collected, is that Batik straddles the world of fine art, commercial art, and fashion, and the national character of Batik artists comes out clearly in the pieces they produce. Japanese Batik looks a lot like Japanese art, and Indonesian Batik could only come from Indonesia.

The Inroads Studio Tour runs throughout Labour Day weekend from 10 am to 5 pm each day. Tour maps are available throughout the area. For further information, call 335-2073 or check www.inroadstour.ca.

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