Canvas Ark Unlocks Your Child’s Inner Creativity with Batik Painting

A gathering of our most enthusiastic creative minds, and one of our most enduring art forms.

By Sean Yee        8 September 2023

SAFRA’s First Kids Art Programme at Canvas Ark is the perfect place for young and budding creators, with an ever-changing series of exciting workshops and inspired classes. Guided by 7 central pillars – Inspiration, Imagination, Emotion, Expression, Experimentation, Materiality and Presentation – it strives to induce an uninhibited learning environment for 4 -12 year old artists to freely create, model, and invent!

At a recent Batik Painting session, Canvas Ark invited us to witness in detail how their unique lesson plans allow their students’ creativity to truly flourish, so that students can leave the classroom feeling more liberated and bolder to experiment with new and novel concepts. 

An international textile sensation

Singapore’s ports, predating World War 2, saw an abundance of trade centring on batik, cloth with intricate patterns that are carefully imprinted through a unique Indonesian dyeing technique of the same name. Traditionally, this meticulous process hinges on the permanence of hot melted wax to weave unique markings onto the cloth before being dyed with colour.

Bringing a traditional art form into a contemporary classroom

While Batik Painting is a great example of artistic showmanship , it isn’t the most child- friendly. Ruth Mogan, Canvas Ark’s Visual Arts Instructor was concerned about the potential hazards of having young children around hot wax. 

“Batik Painting is simply an excellent opportunity for us to introduce various artistic techniques to our budding artists! Instead of conventional mediums like paper or canvas, they are presented with pieces of cloth to work with. But we had to brainstorm on how we can safely impart the nuances of the art form without diluting its cultural authenticity,” she said. 

After much deliberation, she settled on employing wax liner pens as an alternative to hot wax. Improvising solutions isn’t unique to Ruth, who is always looking for new ways to introduce legendary artistic muses and inspirations into her classroom, so as to best illuminate the boundlessness and liveliness of art. 

Elevating your child’s instinctive creativity with resourceful techniques

Like their Batik Painting classes, Canvas Ark’s varied curriculums enable their students’ creative expressions to interact with necessary technical skills in a controlled and secure learning environment. At the forefront of these lesson plans is Ruth, who remarks, “We want our young artists to express their creativity and ideas in a meaningful manner. This class is a great example of this! By blending a range of batik dyes, they’ll progressively comprehend different colour and design schemes as well as the symbolic significance that comes with them.”

From the teacher’s perspective

Here is a brief overview of the lesson plan for this Batik Painting session!

Step 1: Children draw on paper with pencil and marker.

Step 2: Teacher to demonstrate use of a wax liner pen.

Step 3: Use the wax liner pen to trace the designs onto the cloth.

Step 4: Check to ensure the wax is sufficient.

Step 5: Teacher to demonstrate how students can mix Batik paints, as well as induce a bleed effect.

Step 6: Stamp designs onto the batik cloth once the wax is fully dried.

Step 7: Enjoy experimenting with colour combinations.

Be part of Canvas Ark’s exciting line-up!

Not one to settle for the status quo, this art centre is always brewing something in the mix! From their Artist Series featuring legendary creative prodigies like Andy Warhol and Claude Monet to Art Composition classes like this Batik Painting session, there is a trove of creative insights to be gathered from Canvas Ark’s many passionate instructors. 

More Batik Painting sessions are tentatively scheduled for November and December 2023. 

Canvas Ark can be found at SAFRA Toa Payoh and SAFRA Choa Chu Kang, and is continuously introducing new and exciting art programmes at https://www.safra.sg/canvasark

Save more with SAFRA! Enjoy special deals and discounts on dining, shopping, entertainment, travel, fitness and more from over 1,500 merchant outlets islandwide. Sign up or renew your SAFRA membership for three years at the price of 1 year ($43.20 inclusive of GST)! Plus, get your spouse and children on board to enjoy the same privileges too – 1st dependent pays $5.40/year, and it’s free for the 2nd dependent onwards. Visit safra.sg/savemore for more details. 

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