Tjok Istri Mas Astiti – Women’s Secret:
The apple is the forbidden fruit in the Adam and Eve story, and I use it as a symbol of the women’s secret. When we split an apple we will see a formation that looks like a vagina. The vagina is the door of human life on earth. In Hinduism, a human is born with four parts which protected the baby when in uterus. These are known as “Kanda Empat”; the first is amniotic fluid here painted white, the second is blood painted red, the third is the covering membrane which is yellow and the fourth is the placenta painted black. Soon after birth this fourth part will go back to nature (buana agung) while the human will be placed in buana alit (mikro cosmos).
Sri Supriyatini – My Dream:
All women have secrets and all women have dreams. I show the dreams of a woman who always wants to look like an angel. She does all sorts of things to appear beautiful, like dress well, use make up, drink traditional remedies, even undergo plastic surgery. But sometimes what they do damages them, for example using any old cosmetics can not only hurt their body but can even cause death. It’s an irony if the wish to be beautiful makes women hide the steps they take for that.
So, I as a woman can only dream of bringing consciousness to them (especially simple women who are not aware of use of cosmetics or medicines) and encourage them to give thanks to God for the gifts they have been given.
Sri Haryani – Women’s Secret:
Talking about women makes us remember our mother, who gave birth to a baby and shared her life with us; how women feed us, shelter us and protect us from danger; strong, full of love, and she is always there when her child needs her.
Women are a source of inspiration, role models and teachers for their child. If in this world there were no women, there would be no life to make this world more colourful.
Ni Wayan Budiarti – Ken Sulasih:
This is a popular theme in Balinese art because the descent of the celestial nymphs to bathe in an earthly pool offers great erotic potential. The peeking Rajapala steals the sarong, effectively the wings, of Sulasih so she can’t fly back to the heavens until she has given him a child.
Ni Putu Suriati – Rama Sita:
Dewi Sita is the wife of a king from Ayodya called Rama Dewa. One day she and Rama and her brother-in-law Laksmana, were exiled from the kingdom at the request of Rama’s stepmother. One day in the forest Sita was kidnapped by a giant from the Alengka Pura kingdom called Rahwana. He was charmed by her beauty and he wanted to own her as his own. He brought Sita to his kingdom and he tried to force her to marry Rahwana, but Sita maintained her refusal because she was very much in love with her husband. Rahwana tried in many ways to force her to give in to him but he always failed because she possessed the secret means to protect herself through her holy and pure fidelity for her husband.
Ni Nyoman Sani – Smile Behind:
Woman indeed have great souls, but they sometimes can’t accept the situation which they find themselves in. It is not certain that beauty will help you avoid a wrong step which can hurt you. Dissatisfaction with that situation can allow others to take over and try to ‘improve’ a girl/woman. A woman with a smile, a woman with regret must keep smiling.
Ni Made Suciarmi – Silandri di Wirata:
From the Mahabrata. The 5 Pandawa brothers were gambling with their cousins the Korawa. Whoever losst the bet would go into exile for 14 years, for the first 13 of which they must tell no-one where they are. If anyone finds out they must start the 14 years all over again.
Pandawa lost the bet, so they had to go into exile with the wife of one, Dewi Drupadi. They went to the Wirata country.
The brothers disguised themselves as:
Darmawangsa as Biksu
Bhima as cook
Arjuna as teacher of dance
Nakula s horse coachman
Sahadewa as teacher of virtue
And Dewa Drupadi became a make-up expert at the Royal Palace.
They succeeded in their disguise and were not found out. Best was Dewa Drupadi known as Silandri, she was very beautiful and clever. So many people liked her.
Ni Made Sriasih – Love:
There was a simple family who lived the small village of Tebesaya in Ubud Bali. The father is a famous painter. He lives with his faithful wife who help him in the struggle for a decent life. They had four sons and two daughters. Their children grew up to be talented. Their sons became painters and their daughters, named Made and Nyoman became dancers. They dreamed that someday they would became famous dancers in Bali.
But in real-life what happened? The dreams of the two girls failed.
Nyoman and Made were separated by life. Nyoman, now 40, married into a family in Karangasem far away, has 3 sons, and became a merchant in Ubud. Made and her husband live in Denpasar where Made is an art teacher at junior high school.
Besides being a teacher she is also a painter. She participates with other Balinese women painters.
Made does not yet have any children. She has prayed for children a thousand times but without luck. That is the burden of her life and a problem she cannot escape.
Although Nyoman and Made live in a different places the ties of love remain strong. They pray that God will always bless them.
Ni Luh Andriani – Chatting:
This painting shows two women chatting, where one is talking about her problem, because she can’t stand hide her problem all the time. So she is asking her friend to help her, to hear her problem that is disturbing her heart in order for her to feel a bit better.
Ni Andika – Love:
I had the wonderful experience of becoming a mother. My son gives me so much happiness. In this painting I picture a woman hugging a doll. A doll is a symbol of loving, playing with and imagining children, as a doll that can speak. In this point I am not comparing my son with a doll but showing how much I love my son.
Gusti Agung Istri Agung – Family Harmony:
In life many women are eager to create a family that is harmonious, united and valuing each other. In this painting I illustrate a story about a complete family without harshness, which happens in many families. I tell about the in-laws, children, husband, all supporting and loving each other without harshness and no enmity.
Dewa Biang Raka – The Twin Pregnant Ladies:
This painting shows us the happiness of the twin pregnant women in the very beautiful garden that has a lot of beautiful flowers and trees. Both of those ladies are very nice to each other. Both women are pregnant at about the same time. One day they both lie down in their father’s garden, talking about their babies in the future. “I hope my baby will be a boy as handsome as his father,” “But not me, I want to have a baby as beautiful as her mother of course,” said the other woman. Both of them laugh and smile. They keep smiling and smiling even though they know how hard it is to bear a baby. They always hope and pray to the God to have the child they want. Both of them want to have a baby who is worthy of this earth, this village, the island and this world of course.
Their chatting is very nice and interesting and at the end one of them says “We have to smile a lot if we want to have a beautiful baby”. “Yes I agree,” said the other women. So lets smile and smile, I am sure our husbands shall love us more and more.
Everybody loves beauty. Beauty, it does’t mean good physically looking only, but beauty also means nice inside. Many people call this “Inner beauty”. Inner beauty is very important for all of us. So inner beauty is one of the womens secret.
Cok Puspawati Nindhia – Two Sides of Women:
Women are always considered as weak and put in second place in life in male eyes. But God gave women secret power which men don’t have, women can bear, care for and protect their children with all the best they can do. They will fight for their children with all their might.
Here, inspired by the legend of “Calonarang” that is a legend of the power of love when a mother defends the honor of herself and her daughter from insult. This gives her an extraordinary power which can destroy everything that humiliates them. Women’s secret weapon is the softness of love which can give happiness and also can be powerful in defense of her and her children. Remember where women are respected, there is Heaven.
Artists’ Day at Burra Regional Art Gallery featured a workshop by visiting artist from Ubud, Bali, Ni Nyoman Sani. Here is the paper given to each participant:
Burra artists thoroughly enjoyed this unusual challenge. At lunch Sani showed her DVD on the big screen, also watched by invited Burra Gallery volunteers. Sani raised some money to take back to the collective in Bali by selling her drawings and we also raffled a Seniwati T-shirt. There is quite a lot of enthusiasm for a return trip by Burra artists to visit Sani in Bali in 2014. Watch this space!