An Unexpected Development
How the sharing of Photography became an unexpected teacher for us at Sawidji.
Photography my teacher. From the beginning, ever since our Sawidji initiative started back in 2020, it was clear what our direction is. Which is to create a base and/or a platform for traditional and contemporary artists and artisans to gather in a supportive and transparent environment and find a sustainable means to develop. For them to get inspired again. Regain confidence, see their own value with fresh perspective.
Away from the drudge of just producing ‘art’ at the demands of ‘art galleries/shops’ and never given the appropriate accreditation to the individual. Art for profit has been a gargantuan machine here. That machine has nearly destroyed the elemental fabric of the spirit of creative inspiration.
As a by product of a zealous commercial art market, the process of art became the process of making souvenirs and decorations. Really talented and skilled traditional artists became conditioned to be labourers. Their own creative instincts restrained by the reality of supply and demand.
Optimism Fighting an Uphill Battle
We aspire for Sawidji to be a place of rediscovery. To gather knowledge and get to the heart of things again. Be strategic and find appropriate commercial ways for us to move with the demands of the times. Whilst making sure not to blindly continue down a path that will inevitably destroy the artistic integrity of our traditional roots.
Sounds simple enough you might say, but it was not so. In fact, even my optimism underwent some testy waters with the challenges we face. Firstly, there is the issue of economic standstill, and threat of political instability. Not to mention health risks and a worldwide pandemic going on.
How is it that I think we can focus on art and creative inspiration when everyone is under these extreme pressures? Well, I remain truly an idealistic realist. I maintain that we can. With hard work, understanding and appropriate strategies, we can.
For myself personally, returning to photography was a welcome joy. But more than that, the sharing of it, with other artists whose contextual view of art never even in the slightest, included a camera, working through the learning processes was like going through a reawakening.
Photography my teacher ..Giving motivation and encouragement..
How it became the perfect mentor. A metaphorical process, for us to see from a new perspective. For example, everything I was teaching in regards to the technical parameters of the camera functions, really is as an exercise that helps to shift our own personal visions.
To feel hope and enthusiasm for new possibilities. It is in the excitement they feel when they master a new skill and with beautiful results. This is really what we are about.