Cush Cush Gallery of Denpasar announced its arrival onto the Bali art scene in July 2016 with Crucible, the gallery’s collaborative exhibition with Australian designer, educator and academic Ross McLeod.
Exploring ideas of alchemical synthesis, association of natural process, and craftsmanship, McLeod’s sculptural objects were enhanced by Cush Cush Gallery’s savvy presentation – the impact was immediate. A fresh, alternative gallery, highlighted by a sound vision was born, a timely, and exciting contribution to the island’s art infrastructure.
The opening of DRAWING FUTURE: Charcoal for Children 2016/17 Charity Exhibition, on Friday 24 February celebrated the culmination of Cush Cush Gallery’s first CHARCOAL FOR CHILDREN 2016/17 program. The free program is designed to empower children through art and creativity, while raising environmental awareness through the making and use of DIY charcoal as a creative tool.
Six invited artists, with the help of thirty-five volunteers from local creative communities, worked together with 103 children from various backgrounds to create the exhibited collaborative artworks. The event was officiated by the Australian Consul General, Dr Helena Studdert.
“Charcoal For Children (CFC) is a grassroots movement that is supported by the arts, design and creative communities in Bali and Indonesia, as well as friends from overseas,” Cush Cush co founder Suriawati Qiu said. “Having traveled, and lived overseas, I have witnessed how important creative education is to our future generations. We are also concerned with the lack of emphasis in art and creativity in the local education system.”
“Cush Cush Gallery wants to highlight the importance of fostering creativity in children from an early age, within a non evaluative learning framework,” adds Suriawati’s partner, and co founder Jindee Chua. “Early and consistent exposure to the arts and creativity enhances critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills in children, as well as strengthening their self confidence.”
The duo met while studying at RMIT Melbourne, Australia, Jindee pursuing an architecture degree, while Suriawati was studying interior design. The love of art and creativity consolidated their relationship, and they went on to form Cush Cush Gallery, a design studio workshop in Denpasar. Their focus is upon experimenting and creating with the abundant indigenous materials, textures, techniques and traditional crafts of Bali. With an emphasis on sustainability, much of their design products are up cycled resources.
Cush Cush presented ‘Make Your Own Charcoal’ workshop in August 2016 as a part of their LagiLagi programs up-cycling production off-cuts, giving them new life and turning them into useful things for everyday life.
Three separate CFC workshops session were conducted in September and October 2016, and the finale in January 2017. Participating artists were Wayan ‘Suklu’ Sujana, Reno Ganesha, Noella Roos, Nyoman Wijaya, Natisa Jones and Budi ‘Kabul’ Agung Kuswara. CushCush presents a year-round program of exhibitions, and will continue to grow its residency and collaboration programs, facilitating exchanges between an international community of artists, creative, and Bali.
At art exhibitions there is usually a great divide between the art works and the creative process. Rarely is the process under the spotlight. During the opening of DRAWING FUTURE, however the creative process was on display, enriched by the enthusiasm of children of all ages busily sketching, interacting, and having fun.
Could there be another human expression more potent and satisfying for adults to witness and adore?
DRAWING CHARCOAL: Charity For Children Exhibition 2016/17
Continues through until 13 May 2017
Jl.Teuku Umar Gg. Rajawali No.1A
Denpasar 80113, Bali, Indonesia
Tel. (62) 361 484558
Words & Images: Richard Horstman