Q&A by Joanne Koh

Ida Suod
Ida Suod

Melbourne based silk painter Ida Suod has been honing her craft for the last 21 years and lately she’s had a busy few months. Besides working on her new collection that is due to launch soon, Ida will also be setting up shop on Little Collins Street in the CBD in two months time. We took a few minutes out to find out more about her new collection and what’s in store for her new venture. Ida will be facilitating a pop up workshop for Colour Box Studio: Introduction to Silk Painting on 1st June 2014.

How did you learn the art of silk painting?

It is mostly self-taught, experimenting and through observation. When I was in high school, I did tie dye as my final year art project. That was when I learnt about the process of dying textiles. I also watched my cousin complete her batik pieces as her final year art project. I also learnt a few tips from the artisans in Indonesia and Malaysia while I was on family vacations and visiting relatives.

How is your cultural background connected to your arts practice?

My paternal grandfather was an Indonesian horse trainer who later migrated to Singapore to open a chain of restaurants. My mother, a seamstress, was an Indonesian whose family has many businesses including textiles and fashion. My made-by-mum outfits were normally made from hand painted silk fabric that my aunt sold. I use wax resist (batik) to produce most of my work. As it is a dying art, I would like to preserve and share it with others. My first few pieces are mostly of horses which is a tribute to my grandfather. I have combined both art and fashion for my creations. My creations have grown from hand-painted silk scarves to screen printed contemporary classic women’s wear.

Paint a Silk Scarf workshop at Colour Box Studio with Ida Suod, March 2013. Photo by Yusuke Tsutsui Photography.
Paint a Silk Scarf workshop at Colour Box Studio with Ida Suod, March 2013.
Photo by Yusuke Tsutsui Photography.

Have you experimented with other materials?

Yes, I have experimented with cotton, protein based textiles and natural textiles. I also paint on canvases, glass and other materials.

From an artist’s perspective, what sort of audience are drawn to your art, is there a particular type of person?

My art attracts a variety of people. In the western countries, batik and silk painting has been, and is still is, heavily associated with hippies. In the a eastern countries, it is a traditional art. In some eastern countries, it is their national pride and costume.

I get a lot of textiles students and others who are interested in designing their own textiles or paintings. They are also others who has done batik and silk painting before and would like to practise a little more. I get artists who are looking at trying a new medium to express their ideas. I had fashionistas and fashion designers who wanted to create their own masterpieces. I also had children whose parents enrolled them in my classes because they would like to share the art with their children.

Tell us about your collaboration with New Model Beauty Queen. Why is collaborating an important part of your arts practice?

We set up a company together to open a new retail/manufacturing space in Melbourne CBD – Artisan Textiles Australia (ATA). It is important for Studio 941′s arts practice to continue growing, experimenting and sharing passionately. ATA is a pivotal location for emerging labels to produce and sell.

Studio 941 Trompe L'oeil Print 4
Studio 941 Trompe L’oeil Print 4


Studio 941 Trompe L'oeil Print 10
Studio 941 Trompe L’oeil Print 10

Tell us about the theme for your next collection? What inspired the idea for your theme and what does it mean to you?

My next collection is Deception of the Eye (Trompe L’œil) which will be out soon.

The concept has always been a thought process for most of my work. I did not realise this until a few years ago when I came across a velvet handbag with the same theme. It was a very simple yet beautifully hand crafted velvet handbag by Roberta di Camerino. What is beautiful about it is that the art work makes it look more complicated by giving the illusion of pockets when there is actually none. The artwork also seemed to pop out. In actual fact, it is flat.

As an architect, I was trained the old school way – manual drafting. In a way, we use the same trompe l’oeil concept. The eyes capture the images and process the meaning. The line work and perception of depth in architectural drawings are important to produce ‘legible’ drawings.

All these skills, experiences and research helped me to produce my next collection. We have sayings like “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and “eyes are windows to the soul”. There are countless sayings about the eyes. It is a really fascinating human organ.

Deception of the eye” (Trompe L’oeil) printed on various textiles tell many stories. It is part of a series. Each person who looks at my print will interpret it differently and connect with it. You will see elements of the eyes, tears, water droplets, women with flowing hair, irises, women with big heads, flowing gowns, eyelashes and many more. I am telling a story through my prints, paintings and garments.


What else have you planned for the future?

The CBD retail/manufacturing venture is a big one. It is my main focus for the next year or so. We have something planned for Craft Cubed, spring fashion week and Melbourne Knowledge Week over the next few months.

Introduction to Silk Painting Workshop facilitated by Ida Suod. Participant Heather in action. Photos by Sunny Lim from Cliq Photography.
Silk Painting Workshop participant Heather in action.


Sunday 1 June 2014, 9:30am- 12:30pm

The Work Room (at The Cotton Mills), Footscray

$75 including materials

For more details: CLICK HERE


All workshop participants go into the draw to win this prize pack!
All May/ June 2014 workshop participants go into the draw to win this prize pack!


Learn to Screen Print in a Day, 25 May & 15 June, Brunswick

Super Rad Nail Art Workshop, 1 June, Footscray

Aacute Geometric Jewellery Making Workshop, 28 June, Docklands

ENQUIRIES Email: info@colourboxstudio.com

FULL PROGRAM: Click here.