Friday, May 15, 2009

An Artist in Tanzania ::: Filex's Batik Workshop

Meet Filex Jacobson, an artist in Arusha. Filex has been passionate about art since he was a child. It is what makes him happy and he is good at it. He used to sit at his father’s feet drawing pictures as a youngster, and now as an adult, his father disowned him because he wanted to be a professional artist instead of a driver, mechanic or other form of “normal” work in Arusha. Filex did not give up and he struggled to get the resources for training in several art forms, including that of the Batik painting.

Batiks are made with a special wax painting process and a layering of different paint colors. Originally from Indonesia, the Batik was used as a form of communication to send messages and was brought to Congo, Uganda and Tanzania through traders and missionaries. It takes a half of a day to make one Batik, you can watch Filex in action in the video.

Filex now owns and operates Sunset Art Studio which is located across from the Arusha International Conference Centre. In addition to selling paintings and providing workshops, he employs six people in his studio and his work supports the livelihood of several street vendor distributors.

When Jan and I are in Arusha we will have to stop by to say hello to Filex, to look at his work or perhaps to take a workshop.

Thanks to the blog of keely stevenson for this information about Felix.

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