Tuesday, August 9, 2011



Having recently read a short piece on Walter Battiss' Fook Island, this vintage skirt seemed to me the perfect piece to channel Battiss' utopian island ideals.


Walter Battiss (1906-1982) is widely considered the most important South African painter of the 20th century.

Influenced by Ndebele beadwork, calligraphy, and archaeology, Battiss traveled throughout Africa creating religiously symbolic work that gained an international following after a visit to Europe in 1949, where he met and befriended Picasso.

Battiss was also active as an art critic and instructor, and published nine books as well as founding the periodical Del Arte.

During Battiss' later career, he created an imaginary utopian island, which consisted of its own language, plants, animals, and even driver's licenses and passports. Fook Island was Battiss' departure from conceptual art, and gained a following both within the art world and in the general public.

Battiss received an Honorary D Litt et Phil from UNISA for his conception of Fook Island, which gave voice to what Battiss termed "the island inside all of us."


I'm wearing a vintage skirt, vintage leather belt, thrifted blouse, Lauren Merkin leather clutch, and Steve Madden sandals.


[Battiss images from,,, and, respectively.]



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