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 –

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.


For further information please write to


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 Ambatik.

We wish them well in this valuable endeavour.



2019    Seyram Agbleze ‘The Process and History of Traditional Dyed Batiks/Fabrics in West Africa’


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





[ Photo: Thetis Blacker ]




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