The Island Gallery

The Island Gallery features leading contemporary textile artists working in ancient artistic traditions - batik and ikat textile art from Indonesia and Southeast Asia. The Gallery works directly with artists and is home to the largest collection of contemporary museum-quality Indonesian wall hangings in the Northwest. These hangings are complemented by home furnishings (pillows, table linens, yard goods), many made from hand-spun natural dyed textiles, that enhance a range of architectural styles and reaffirm the close relationship of the Northwest to the natural environment.

The Gallery also features wearable art - jackets, ensembles, scarves, and bags - designed by Balinese artist Rana Helmi and others. We also are introducing wearable art in natural fibers from leading American fiber artists.

Batiks are made using the copper canting, cap or a combination of the two, while back-strap looms are used in making ikats. Both techniques demand high skill and long hours of labor. Each piece is a unique work of art. The textiles represent artists working in studios and cottage industries, and include American artists collaborating with Indonesian artists to recover old motifs and techniques while innovating in new directions.

Agus Ismoyo, Indonesian, and Nia Fliam, American, a collaborative husband and wife team living and working in Indonesia are two of the talented artists represented at the Gallery. Ismoyo and Nia, known as ISNIA, look to the roots of the Javanese batik tradition and seek to continue its essence in a contemporary spirit:

We approach our work by holding as an ideal the way of an "empu" batik maker who created the ancient sacred motifs, a master who had excellent technical skills, a deep philosophical grounding and esoteric abilities in meditative practice. As the present situation is different from the time sacred motifs were created many centuries ago, the motifs need not take the same form. We attempt to find the spirit of each of the sacred motifs. Our batik is like a starting point of exploring a technique. We are completely open to all possibilities, like archeologists who have just discovered a small stupa which proves, in fact, that we are digging up a temple that is still buried.