Process & Patterns: A Short-Study on Batik
Process & Patterns is an exhibition, produced by Òlàjú Art Group, to highlight and preserve the tradition of textile-based art in Nigeria. Specific focus is placed on the method of wax-resistance with tie-and-dye known as batik, adire, and other names around the world.
This series explores batik from the perspective of world-renowned artist, Tunde Odunlade. Odunlade’s style has evolved over time from works using single pieces of fabric to creating layers of fabric that are quilted together adding unusual depth and color ranges. In more recent work, beads and other usually found materials are decorated within his fabric to symbolically emphasize key cultural concepts.
To appreciate textile art, viewers are invited to reflect on both the process and patterns that go into producing final creations. The process of batik-making is simultaneously technical and intuitive in that certain methods are required yet, the approach is entirely dependent on the artist’s creative vision. The patterns in Odunlade’s works become an abstract set of unrelated fabrics that are united to create new meanings based on the viewers interpretation. Combined, the process and abstracted patterns displayed offer deeper insight into relevant cultural and socio-political dynamics across Africa and the rest of the world today.
The focus of this exhibition is a newly-commissioned piece, created by Odunlade for the 2019 African Market Creative Arts Festival. The only instruction given to the artist was to, “create what you want our viewers to feel/know”. The result is, “Peaceful Co-Existence” which is an ode to the middle class that blends together multiple fabrics to symbolize a call for unity amongst all around the world.