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The beggining of the fashion batik art

After 5 months of silk scarves, I've began on working on my big goal of making garments out of my batik art. These are some of the ideas I've worked on. The first 2 ideas are inspired by the colorful way that Ugandan baskets are made, I'm trying to fuse this art into a fashion product. Actually I have the same approach as the basket weavers do ie making a plan of how different colors will follow along one repeated line. The third idea involved the use of dots as I waxed.
In this batik, I was inspired by the view outside our house. There's a place near us on a hill with new housing and one thing is common aon all these houses; the shiny iron roofing and red brick walls, no plaster. The whole hill is dotted with these similar looking houses. When I went up there, I found people seated outside their homes talking about all kind of gossip including the recent power outages that have hit the country, although none of the houses was connected to the grid. Another thing that caught my attention was the rows of flower gardens that lined the road all around me. This batik portrays new neighbourhoods that are cropping up everywhere within 10kms from the capital city, Kampala.
This project has been useful to me in a way that I never expected. At first I struggled with the color-fastness of the dyes but now everything is fine. This is the latest from my batik art this last month.

SILK SCARVES PROJECT 2011

Flavour of the silk scalf project I'm working on.

Theme is Africa, women and girls' education.

THE FINISHED LION BATIK

LION FAMILY (2011)
SIZE: 3ft x 3ft
STATUS: Commission

The lion batik is already finished. This is commissioned work by a client in the US that took me weeks to finish. I used 5 pictures of lions from 4 wildlife magazines. It was quite a challenge getting these pictures together. First of all, four of the 5 pictures had scattered cubs and female lions but no male lion. I decided to construct 2 sketches that didn't have a male lion but on a closer look I realised that the painting will not be 'loud' without a male lion. The problem was that the only picture of a male lion that I could find was a head of about 2x1 inches and facing left. I thank God that I was able to turn the head facing left into a lion standing and facing right with the whole family and bringing the scattered family t…

LION BATIK A BIG CHALLENGE

I am currently working on a lion batik job. This is one of a few jobs that I reach a stage where I have little or no idea how to proceed. I have to bring out all the batiking knowledge I've accumulated over the years and to ask for God's grace to be able to continue.

MARKET SCENES HAVE INFLUENCED MY BATIK ART

Title: KALERWE MARKET TRADERS (2011)
Size: 18x12 inches (For sale) Email: lukandwad@yahoo.co.uk

THE STORY
This batik was inspired by Kalerwe market, one of the busiest fresh crop markets that are dotted around Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. I spent over 7 years passing this market on my way to school and I can now appreciate the influence this place has had on my work. This influence is evident in the conversational appearance of my characters. Before you enter into the market, what you hear is one deafening noise but this is deceptive. As you go through the market, you begin to hear individual conversations mostly on bargaining and gossiping, everyone is talking to another. I always strive to portray these interesting scenarios in my batik art.

BATIKING WITH SILK MATERIAL

I'm doing batik on silk scarves. Very challenging. I've not done this before. The material keeps running out of my hands, very uncontrollable. I've dip-dyed them for a start and this has a small problem - I've to re wax all areas again as the already waxed layers had become thinner/weaker.
Silk is a good material that dries fast and retains its shiny look after application of dyes and hot wax.

Breakthrough
I've been worried about how I was going to remove the wax. Ironing is out of my list of options. The only viable option is boiling (this is a scary option because you tend to think that colors will run out). The good news is that colors have not run out, even when I rinse with cold water the fabric just becomes softer and better. This is unprecedented in my experience as a batik artist. I think it opens a door to my dream of making batik designs on fabric that can be worn. Thank God for this breakthrough.

AN ADDITION TO THE FISH MEETING SERIES IS OUT

The green batik above is a latest improvement of the FISH MEETING batik series that I started last year.

CHILDHOOD MEMORY

With this new batik I was trying to bring to life my childhood memory of a mud walled house that I grew up in in the 1980s. The walls were cracked every where in the house. I enjoyed lying down and looking up on the walls in the sitting room, where my stepmother kept her photographs and mats. She was one o the best mat weavers in the village.
In this batik I wanted to portray my stepmother sitting down, posing for a photograph with the cracked wall in the background.
This batik shows the direction that Dominic's batik art is taking in this new year. There is going to be a lot of emphasis on detail and color variation but keeping within the trademark style of his art. This is an upgraded version of GIFTS FOR HER that he first did in 2009. The photo was taken with the batik hanging on a line after ironing out the wax.