Winda is paralysed due to a genetic disorder, muscular dystrophy and scoliosis. Winda has been drawing since she was a teenager and is self-taught in painting. She has featured in many exhibitions, both group and solo shows. Some proceeds from her painting sales are always set aside to help other underprivileged persons with disabilities.
Mawarini is an Adelaide-based Indonesian-born visual artist, designer and animator. She has exhibited work locally and internationally, including in Indonesia, Malaysia, Istanbul Triennial and the UK. Her practice often combines paper-cutting techniques, illustration and contemporary digital medium to produce narrative installation and animations. Mawarini works collaboratively with artists across different disciplines and has designed and curated work for performance works, art festivals and theatre production.
The first meeting online involved each artist sharing about their art practice, sharing some artworks, and sharing about where they live and their different cultures. Following the meeting, they were going to have a think about themes and how they might like to collaborate over a three-month period. They both wanted to enrich their experiences through sharing cultural differences as artists. Here we share some works from each artist.
The first three images are from Winda. Winda is interested in decorative arts and you can see that reflected in her paintings, with the level of detail that she includes. The theme for most of my works is about the life and culture of the Balinese. For example, its traditional markets, rice harvesting, dances. She also loves to paint birds and flowers.
The long image is by Mawarini, titled Sewing, in graphite and pastel on paper 100x16cm. Her work is about capturing the beauty and poetry of everyday life through drawing, and through the light and shadows of papercuts. She also loves to add a quirkiness to her art pieces, with many of them coming to life through animation.
Sharing artwork and collaborating on each others
Winda and Mawarini decided to exchange visual drawings, with the other responding in a way they chose to, all around the theme of ‘friendship’. Each week, alongside chatting daily on What’s App, they sent artworks to each other in the post, and some via email to add to digitally. They wanted to explore what friendship meant to each of them. Along the way, they bonded well, and found that they had a love of similar things, especially Japanese culture, floral designs and cats! The resulting works are beautiful and varied, including paintings, drawings, papercuts, digital works, and even a printed zip bag utilising a collaborative design made digitally.
They began with dialogues between two friends sharing stories, and sharing what they like and do not like, and what friendship means to one another. They posed questions to one another to learn more, including things like: do you prefer sunrise or sunset? where is your special place? what are your favourite food and drinks? do you prefer the mountain or beach? what colours do you like?
Below are a few examples with the answers – (W representing Winda and M representing Mawarini).
The above two works are some of the first works that were created collaboratively. In both cases Winda sent ink pen drawings to Mawarini, who then scanned them in and digitally added other elements to the drawings based on things that they discussed they both liked or enjoyed doing. The left drawing is titled ‘Friendship’ with the right titled ‘Window.’
The above images show how one of the artists drew an image, and then what happened when the artwork was posted to the second artist, to make their marks upon. In the case of the last set of images seen above… the left artwork was drawn on together in person when they discussed what friends did when they visited coffee shops together. The right image was composed digitally by Mawarini, taking the elements of the original drawing and making a complete scene.
The first in-person meet up and drawing together in Winda’s home. There is no speaking on this video, one minute in length.
Above: The work on the above left with a blue background is titled ‘Best Friend’. Winda made this painting of her and Mawarini together. “I depicted Mawarini carrying a large backpack because she is going back to Australia soon. I want to emphasise that in friendship, even though we are far apart, we will never forget each other.” Mawarini added the pattern to the backpack. On the right, both artists are again featured. Mawarini added the modern pattern (batik motif) in the background because they both like batik. The yellow rose is also a symbol of friendship, so it was added again.
The below images show how a digitally printed pouch came to fruition. Winda sent some drawings of things she likes to Mawarini, who scanned them in and digitially added some of her own. Mawarini shared several different versions of how the patterns could be combined, before they settled on the middle one below. The design was then sent off and made into pouches, which the artists now each have.
Below, you can see three (cat) versions (inspired from) a Japanese Maneki Neko cat because they both like (the lucky charm) cat. Mawarini drew the cat, Winda added the floral design by rubbing parts of the image out, Mawarini then individually drew the background tile pattern and the hand, and she edited it altogether digitally for the final design. In the second row of images, Mawarini is pushing Winda in her wheelchair that was drawn by Winda. Whilst the second and third images show a drawing of a bird and countryside by Mawarini, and papercut floral detail by Mawarini. The original drawing was then cut out and placed onto this final artwork.
Together they also made works on paper to include animals from both countries, such as koalas and kangaroos of Australian and then the Bali starlings. Papercut accents from Mawarini were added. In the first image the closest kangaroo is by Mawarini, with the larger kangaroo with two people in the pouch by Winda. In the second, Winda drew all the animals and both artists drew the leaves/trees. Below, Mawarini made a papercut of a girl that was sent to Winda, who drew inside the papercut with pencil, to show their interactions together. You can also see how the drawing of two people with a scarf began in pencil, was made into a papercut and finally into a digital illustration. As with all the works, collaboration has been key to make them happen.
Meetings in-person in Indonesia
Winda and Mawarini were both in the same country at the same time, due to Mawarini’s travels, so the first time one of our Peer to Peer collaborations were able to meet in-person twice at Winda’s home. For the second visit, Sidhi from Ketemu was able to also attend and took these photos and made the short video below, where the artists share more about the collaboration and what they are working on. Both artists shared that it made the collaboration stronger by meeting in-person, encouraging us to do more in-person meet ups for collaborations in the future – something we definitely need to look into!
From the photos above you when they met in person, you can see the start of the below artwork and how it came to fruition. Winda draw the dog, and Mawarini painted it in acrylic. The dog was then cut out, and all the other elements were jointly added to this piece to create the final artwork of the dog within the background.
This short video was created following the second in-person meeting by Sidhi from Ketemu, who has captured this footage. There is speaking (with subtitles) and it is 3 minutes long.
The below set of images is the last artwork to be created together. You can see the different elements that were created by both artists, that were cut out with a knife, and digitally connected together to make two different playing cards. This final work is titled ‘Friendship Card’.
End of project – Artists Interview
Our partner from Art et al. , Jennifer Gilbert chats to Winda and Mawarini at the end of the project to gain some insights into how they think it all went, and what they learnt. Throughout the process, the artists chatted to each other daily over What’s App as it was kept more private. That makes this interview feel more insightful.
Jennifer: Overall, how did you find the collaboration?
Winda: This project is good for me, it’s fun and allows me to freely explore my creative ideas. I’m lucky to be able to work and meet in person with my collaboration partner.
“We found our friendship through this collaboration.” – Mawarini
Jennifer: Has anything been a real surprise for you during the collaboration?
Winda: Yes! Mawarini gave me some tips on making sketches. It took me back to when I started my journey 8 years ago as I’ve been mostly working on canvas medium these past few years. She showed me some papercut pieces that I really like too, unfortunately it’s hard for me to make one myself.
Mawarini: Some of Winda’s artwork that responded to my drawing was excitingly unexpected, and we had a great time.
Jennifer: What are you hoping audiences get from seeing your work?
Mawarini: Hopefully, the audience can see our friendship through our artwork, regardless of our cultural background. We laugh, share, get inspired, create, and enjoy the art journey together.
“I wanted to show about our friendship and show that everything becomes easier and more beautiful when we have good friends. As a child, I didn’t have many friends and I was afraid to socialise, so it was an unpleasant time in my life. As an adult, I have tried to be more open and social. It turns out that having many distant friends makes me happier.” – Winda
Jennifer: For others potentially doing the Peer to Peer collaborations in the future, what would be your advice to them?
Winda: Communicate a lot with your collaboration friends, and don’t hesitate to put forward ideas and discuss them together. Don’t be shy to ask if there is something you still don’t understand, because maybe your knowledge is different, so there are new things that you might be able to learn.
Mawarini: Enjoy the process, and work with the flow. The collaboration is enjoyable and inspiring.
Jennifer: Anything final you’d like to add?
Winda: “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of this project. I am very happy to be able to participate in this project and also to get a new friend in my life.”
This collaboration forms part of the year long Art et al. X Ketemu project. This particular collaboration was funded by Australia Council for the Arts.
Images Copyright: Winda Karunadhita, Mawarini, Ketemu and Art et al.