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Showing posts from August, 2009


I have realised that painting in the batik medium is a very interesting process in which almost everything is possible. Right from the idea popping up into the brain of an artist up to the finished batik, many unexpected things happen. I am one of the artists who hate sticking to the original sketch. Once i begin the transfer of the sketch to the fabric, i start editing the sketch, making changes here and there. The final product becomes something related to the sketch in subject matter but not similar to it.
However during the application of colours, i have to stick to my original colour scheme, even though a relentless urge keeps dragging me to the direction of changing my original colour plan. I have realised that this is something i have to deal with in the studio especially if it concerns an order with strict subjects and colour schemes.
The room to adjust at a short notice makes the batik process a favourite medium to both artists and to people who enjoy exploration.


One of the major problems of artists in general here is that of finding the right materials and tools. For the batik artists, you have to rely on fellow artists for a good deal and product, except for the cotton fabric which is readily available in textile shops around town.

When it comes to dyes and wax, it's a real nightmare looking for these in downtown Kampala. It all comes down to one word, 'genuine'. It becomes tricky because it's hard to tell a fake DYLON dye from a genuine one as they all look similar. So when you buy, you have to take them home and test them before use. I once looked for a Dark blue dye for 2 months without getting the right one. It's the same case with yellows. There is a place near the old taxi park where printing materials are sold. In this place, one has to ask around the many shops for a particular dye in vain. I was eventually directed to a good dealer who sells dyes at a higher price but the dyes are genuine. I don't compromise …


I get inspired by places with many people moving about. My favorite is to stand outside a building surrounding the Old taxi park in Kampala. Here one gets a glimpse of the bee-hive activity of people entering the taxi park and those moving out of it, not to mention the young women food vendors moving up and down. There's steps going down into the park on different corners of the place and on these, you see people bypassing each other with a few beggars on top and in the middle of the stairs, hands hanging out. On the far distance, you see taxis snaking their way into the park from different directions of the city. In the mix is the many kiosks on every corner of the park. With the noise from taxi touts calling names of taxi stages and occasional honking from taxis moving in and out of the place, this place makes my day as an artist.