University of Wollongong student Aprina Murwanti’s Recalling the Goddess Sri exhibition officially opens on Friday May 18 at the Faculty of Creative Arts (FCA) Gallery.

The Indonesian-born international student is currently doing her PhD in creative practise, focussing on the visual arts. It’s also the first time her works have been shown in a gallery.

The textile instillation explores a traditional Javanese ritual called the Mitoni. It involves a traditional Indonesian hand-woven cloth called Lurik, in which Aprina has transformed into contemporary art.

Aprina uses the whole space of the gallery for the viewer to take in all the elements. “We have to make the ambience so people can come and feel our expressions, what our ideas are and everything,” she said.

Agnieszka Golda, the director of the FCA Gallery at UOW said, “The installation draws on her intimate experiences with the Mitoni ritual and in that ritual the goddess Sri is the key figure, and she’s the fertility goddess.”

“So this ritual relates to celebrations of the seven-month pregnancy of a woman and through this installation Aprina is raising questions about the significance of tradition and also about the power of a woman in the Javanese and Indonesian society,” she said.

Born in central Java, the cultural aspects of the area inspired Aprina in her works, and she wants the audience to get an insight into this sacred part of her culture.

“My main influence of course is my culture and everything inside that culture, the decoration, the textiles, especially the textiles because it had a very big meaning in the past but now everyone forgot it, and I want to awake that,” Aprina said.

“Every story, every textile has a meaning. You cannot forget your culture, you cannot forget your ancestry and even though you move away from your country, you still can bring it down and explore it into whatever you want and show it to the world,” she said.

Words and image by : NARBI GRENNAN

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