My Ophelia

Here is my take on Ophelia floating in the water a la John Everett Millais, the Pre-Raphaelite painter. It is batik painted on silk.

Batik has its origins in Indonesia. You apply hot wax to those areas you want to protect from colour and dip the whole fabric in the dye. You repeat the process starting with the lightest and finishing with the darkest of the dyes.

As you add darker dyes you are never entirely sure what the outome will look like, adding a degree of chance and surprise.

In the case of Ophelia, I should have paid more attention to the very last step of the process – removing the wax properly. In some places, it is forming darker halos around the image.

We all know, you never stop learning.

As for Millais’ Ophelia, which usually hangs in Tate Britain, she has gone for a trip to Australia and can be seen in the National Gallery of Canberra.

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