Batik Painting Project
Njideka Akunyili Crosby moved from Nigeria to the United States at age 16, and her work reveals aspects of home life in both countries. There are no accidents in this painting. Akunyili Crosby has intentionally picked and placed every item and surface in this room. And that includes her dress—the detail of the pattern blends with the busyness of the surrounding imagery.
Akunyili Crosby has a history of painting sitters in clothing from two of her favorite designers, Tiffany Amber and Duro Olowu. Both incorporate African culture and fabrics into their designs. Just like Akunyili Crosby’s artworks blend her cultural influences, African fabrics are the result of blended cultures. Batik fabrics originated in Indonesia and were brought to Ghana by the Dutch in the mid-19th century. The fabrics quickly became popular and spread throughout the entire continent of Africa. The patterns are made using a wax resist-and-dye method.
Create a batik painting using the wax resist method. You will need watercolor paper, a tapered wax candle, a paint brush, acrylic paint, scissors and a couple of household sponges. View the PDF instructions here.