The Temenos Academy has established an award in memory of the artist Thetis Blacker, to further the study of the art of batik. The award is administered by the Temenos Academy in association with the Batik Guild, a UK-based non-profit organization, which exists to encourage a wider appreciation and understanding of batik as a centuries-old craft which continues to meet the needs of creative artists working today. Thetis Blacker was a member of the Batik Guild. More information about its work can be found on its website – www.batikguild.org.uk
The award, which is made every 2 years, is open to members of the Batik Guild, and other batik artists.
THETIS BLACKER (1927-2006) made a remarkable contribution to Temenos as an artist and lecturer. Her work was first featured in Temenos 4, and her ‘Phoenix Egg’, designed especially for the journal, appeared on the covers of issues 6-9. During her life-time she was regarded as the pre-eminent batik artist in the West. Her brilliantly colourful and masterfully executed dye paintings were commissioned for and exhibited in cathedrals and churches in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. She was also a writer and the author of A Pilgrimage of Dreams (1973), an account of her own vivid dreams.
As a Churchill Fellow, Thetis Blacker studied the craft of batik in South East Asia. The purpose of the Thetis Blacker Temenos Batik Scholarship is primarily, but not exclusively, to support overseas research, study and travel in the field of batik creation.
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The second-time winners of the Thetis Blacker Award in 2021 are NIA & AGUS ISMOYO of Yogyakarta, Indonesia with their proposal to create a film script derived from an ancient Javanese text on batik – the Suluk Ambathik. An essay focusing on the translation of this text is printed in Temenos Academy Review 25.
We wish them well in this valuable endeavour.
PREVIOUS AWARD WINNERS:
2019 Seyram Agbleze ‘The Process and History of Traditional Dyed Batiks/Fabrics in West Africa’
ADINKRA:The Living Dream & TRACES FROM THE OTHER SIDE
2017 Nia & Agus Ismoyo ‘The Teaching and Recording of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Batik’
2015 Dorothy Morris ‘Teaching Batik in Malawi’
2013 Marina Elphick ‘Beyond Tradition – Contemporary Indonesian Batik’
2011 Jane Brunning ‘Traditional Methods & Practices of Using Plant Materials to Colour Fabric in The Gambia’
2009 Jane Dwight ‘Chasing the Phoenix, Following the Dragon’ Research into Chinese Influences on Batik in Java
The Temenos Academy and Guildford Cathedral own the copyright to Thetis Blacker’s artistic works. All requests to reproduce her work should be made to the Temenos Academy.
[ Photo: Thetis Blacker ]