e-Book: Textile Collages

Pacita Abad's Painted Textile, Text by Jack Garrity

Pacita said, "I have always been fascinated by textiles, but when I lived in Indonesia, I was overwhelmed by the intricate beauty of batik and the boldness of the ikats. I lived in Indonesia for over seven years and during those times my paintings were so fabric oriented. I was fascinated by all the textiles I saw, and I knew right there that these fabrics would make great collages with acrylics. I would spend weeks traveling all over the country just to look at fabrics .... After awhile, I began sewing them onto my paintings. It was also in this series that I discovered how interesting it is to put together a rich collection of batiks and handwoven cloths with oil paints."

Pacita's textile collages were done during different periods and started in Washington when she cut up some of her old paintings and incorporated pieces in new paintings. However, most textile collages were inspired by her travels, but were especially influenced by her living in Indonesia from 1993 to 2000. There she was taken by the beauty of the wide range of traditional textiles from the countries far-flung islands, especially batik from Java, ikat from Sumba and weavings such as ulos, songket, tapis, pua kumbu and other wonderful handwoven cloth from Sumatra, Sulawesi and Borneo. Over a seven-year period Pacita constantly traveled around the country by plane, boat and road exploring the varied cultures and always looking for bits of cloth that she would later use in her paintings.

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