A COLLABORATIVE art exhibition combining Irish folk legends with traditional Indonesian crafts is carefully curated in an exhibition entitled “Irish Legends Through Indonesian Eyes”, where the common threads of Indonesian and Irish cultural heritage intertwine in a beautiful cultural fusion. This exhibition was opened by the Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno.

According to the Irish Ambassador to Indonesia, Padraig Francis, at the opening of the exhibition ceremony in Jakarta (06/03), 2024, said the art exhibition presented by the Irish Embassy to Indonesia, in collaboration with ISA Art and Jakarta Land, which will run until June 14, 2024 at the World Trade Center 2 in Central Jakarta, is a 40-year tribute to the enduring diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Ireland that are steeped in artistic expression.

“In this stunning exhibition, batik creations combine Irish folklore tales with the intricate art of Indonesian batik. From iconic figures such as St. Patrick, St. Brigid and Queen Maeve to the timeless story of Cu Chulainn and the Children of Lir, each batik piece serves as a canvas for storytelling and cross-cultural exchange,” he said.

Ambassador Padraig Francis added that this exhibition includes the visionary work of Vania Gracia, who has won an award for her work in creating the official batik for the Irish Embassy. The work is a perfect example of the harmonious blend of Irish nature and Indonesian craftsmanship in collaboration with leading craftsman, Mochamad Nurcholis Ekoleksono.

Meanwhile, Vania Gracia said that nature and Irish national symbols were my main sources of inspiration, especially for the works in this exhibition. The designs include Irish shamrocks, ulex or julak flowers, fuchsia hummingbirds, Eurasian truleks, Irish oak trees and acorns.

“I also combine traditional batik patterns from the Indonesian heritage such as parang, kawung and jaya kusuma. Dedicated to creating imaginative textile and fashion designs, I aspire to make a name for myself in the fashion industry. Motivated by a relentless drive to develop my own work that passionately embraces opportunities to learn and grow,” she said.

Vania weaves with care for Irish folklore characters such as Queen Maeve, Aoibh and Lir, Finnegas, etc., giving her creations deep insight and timeless appeal. The batik patterns, meticulously crafted on silk cloth, not only show technical skill, but also folklore symbolism that raises the level of artistic expertise. One of his batiks is inspired by St. Patrick with a pattern that reflects prosperity and togetherness.

Like wise, Mochamad Nurcholis Ekoleksono, who combines tradition and innovation through his love of batik, specializes in natural dye batik and respects the techniques used. Ekoleksono has been around for centuries, crafting each piece with care and a commitment to sustainability.

“With 12 years of experience, they specialize in handmade batik using natural dyes typical of the country. “I continue to actively contribute to the Indonesian Natural Dye Association and hold national workshops to preserve traditional textile crafts,” he concluded. [ by Marcell Lahea]