Earlier this year i asked to do a commission of a medusa, a recurring visual in some of my previous work. Having spent some time lurking around the Kraton Yogyakarta1 collecting images of snakes and serpents, i started plotting my ideas, hanging the results on my studio wall. When my photographer visited my studio he said quite loudly, “that’s Nyi Blorong”. the rest of the staff in my house, who had been quiet up to this point, chimed in in agreement. there was clearly some discomfort amongst the staff that i had managed to morph myself into a feared female creature of Javanese myth. Having been interested in the way women were negatively portrayed in myth using animal morphology, such as the vilified medusa, i set about getting to know Nyi Blorong.
Nadiah Bamadhaj – Poised for Degradation