Arts & Handicrafts
Our Founding Chair Mrs Karet-Coxen’s dream has always been that the children of Banteay Srei are able to make a respectable living off their own artistic skills. At our training center, there is a host of other activities for our students in addition to dance and music.
Their dedication, enthusiasm and talents never cease to amaze us. When they are not involved in their performing arts training, the students have proved they are accomplished in arts and handicrafts that can, and have been, sold very successfully. Proceeds are either put directly back into the artist’s hand or into a communal fund for tools and materials.
Weekly art classes
The watercolours are the student’s depictions of the bas-reliefs in their temples, a unique trade mark fitting the profile of our children born in the shadow of the heritage site of Angkor.
It is an ideal token – subtle, elegant and light – which takes no room in the suitcase to bring back to remember not only the wonders of Angkor but to share as well as a present. Back home friends have felt a wonderful, soothing energy emanating from the love and dedication that the artists put into the picture.
Their artwork– is on sale to visitors to the Conservatoire or at the Divine Sala (please make this a link to SacredDancers.org home page), where they perform twice weekly in Siem Reap. Their Christmas cards have also been popular.
Weaving crowns and mask making
Instead of buying expensive costumes, adornments and accessories for performances, the dancers and musicians make all their own out of organic, natural fibres that are all symbolic and better suited to their rural backgrounds.
Recycling used plastic bags
As part of our ecological program, Mrs Karet-Coxen taught the girls to cut the bags into spirals to make a bobbin, then how to crochet bags, hats, mats, water bottle holders and more.
It came about after our Hygiene Officer was fed up with the villagers complaining about the plastic bags constantly thrown out of taxis and trucks since the building of the new highway to Anlong Veng and the Thai border, and how they could not keep up maintaining their gardens neat and clean. Not only did the littlest ones enrolled but all the boys as well. Every day all the children came with bags and in the end, we did not have enough, so had to buy some more from Siem Reap!