Monday, May 3, 2010

In the news again……



A special treat at the latest Kuwait Textile Arts Association! We had the opportunity to meet a prolific artist and fashion designer from Sri Lanka. Sonali Dharmawardane spoke to us about the ancient art of Batik becoming firmly established in Sri Lanka. Batik is done using the wax resist method. She personally draws every design in charcoal, which is later waxed and then put into a dye vat. Sonali is an artist who “married into a family which had batik in their lifeblood”.  Her father in law, Vipula Dharmawardane used batik as a statement in art, decor and many other things.  He has taken his work to museums, conventions and conferences. including  the Smithsonian Museum.  Sonali is a consultant designer for  a lingerie manufacturer in Colombo. Her work with batik has led her to do innovative and original work specializing in undergarments. Her brand is called acushla; offers one of a kind batik design on sarees and other women's apparel. "I never repeat anything and each piece is special and unique."  Her country of Sri Lanka has become a hub for garment manufacturing. She told us "some of you may be wearing clothes which are manufactured there, but not even know   Sri Lanka is known around the world as the underwear capital of the world....Victoria Secret was mentioned as a company featuring batiks.

It was awesome to meet Sonali and learn of her art and love of batiks, of the humble revival of this heritage work and to hear her passion for woman in her country.  She runs her own business and employs only women. “My pet project is with women.  Most of the women who work with me are either single mums whose husbands have died in the war or they have been left alone.”   She says “Sri Lankan women are responsible in a big way for their economy.” 


Anonymous said...

How inspirational!! I'm so jealous that you get to experience all this stuff, and very proud of you that you are taking advantage of the opportunities to learn all this stuff, make new friends and have fun!:) Love you so much and miss you..keep writing!! I love coming to your blog to see what you're up to!! Love you, Cath