Mali in Bali
Throughout the start of March we hosted two very popular workshops with Aboubakar Fofana, a fiber artists from Mali in west Africa, who maintains both the regions remarkable fermentation vat indigo process and its mud dye tradition, and teaches both alongside more conventional natural dye processes around the world.
Drawing industry professionals, artists and hobbyists alike, two-week and one-week workshops explored what it takes to get a good indigo blue and a deep black through practice exercises and personal creative projects.
"In Mali a master dyer must be able to dye twelve shades of indigo, from the most ephemeral light blue to the deepest midnight indigo," says Aboubakar. "The skill is in the layering of colour and in managing the concentration of the dye vats." Aboubakar's installations, artworks and wearable art were an inspiration to participants, each of whom developed their own creativity working with him.
Besides this, Aboubakar and the Balinese dye team at the Threads of Life studio enjoyed a remarkable collaboration rooted in their shared animistic relationship to the dye processes, and look forward to Aboubakar's return visit sometime in the future.