Wendy Crouse exhibits batik and photography

“An Element of Surprise,” an exhibit of photography and batik paintings by Wendy Crouse, will be on display at the Nashua Public Library in July and August.

The subject of most of her pieces is Balinese culture, including dancers and “ogho oghos,” eerie statues made of metal and papier mache, created by the Balinese to drive away evil spirits on New Year’s Eve. In addition, there are photos of her travels in Italy and abstract photos shot in Turkey.

When Crouse does batik painting, she draws designs on fabric with dye, then covers them with hot wax. Then she applies another color of dye to another area of fabric, covers that with the hot wax, and repeats the process with additional colors. When the painting is completed, the wax is removed.

For 12 years, Crouse spent two to three months per year studying and painting batik on the Indonesian island of Bali. “I have worked hard,” Crouse says, “to develop batik as a meditative art. It is about the journey, about time sitting quietly thinking about design, form, and color, about learning patience and waiting for the element of surprise.”