Get to know: Chloe Rose Quinn on traditional Balinese decorations and creativity

We spent an afternoon last week in conversation with Chloe Rose Quinn, the co-founder of Make a Scene!. We talked about her team of super weavers, her thoughts on creative events, and her recently joining the Elami and Co family.


What is the meaning of Make a Scene! and what led you to join the team?

Make A Scene! is a play on words. I come from a theatrical background where I was trained to make scenes from plays come alive. Here in Bali I want to make scenarios that bring Balinese craft to life.

The most important thing to me about Make A Scene! is that it is a celebration of two very different cultures joining together through creativity.

At Make A Scene!, it’s all about the shared intention of elevating craft. We transform spaces with Art. We don’t want to take anything away from the space, instead we want to engage with it. When we create new designs we want to bring a sense of theatre to a place. When you are around our ‘woven scenes’ you are inescapably in Bali- It’s a celebration of nature, skill and culture.

The team just happened organically. It really was because of the friendliness and openness of Gus Ari and his partner Ciknang. 3 years ago these two friends were the first two craftsmen who re-introduced coconut leaf weaving into Balinese Wedding decorations. They were the pioneers {of the re-green movement} in decoration. Their first experiment was for their friend’s wedding and I recall Gus telling me that they sat and wove for 4 days and nights straight! Everything was made from coconut leaves and it blew the minds of everyone who saw it. The installation received so much attention and luckily for me,I saw a photo on Facebook and that is how I discovered them!

It’s a total partnership between Gus Ari and myself. We have trusted each other from the beginning. I have an initial concept and share it with Gus. If he’s excited by it, then it goes to the rest of the team. Our team is up for any challenge. They are amazing. They never turn away from something unless the restrictions of the leaf deem it truly impossible. I am just so lucky to be a part of such an ambitious group of artists.

Make A Scene! specialises in weaving with one specific leaf- Slepan. We try not to get sidetracked by ‘glossier additions’, westernised luxuries. We recognize that our weaving is beautiful as it is and that we do not need to go in search of ways to elevate what we already have. As long as we stay innovative with our material and keep our very high standards we can continue to be so proud of the Art we offer.

Why do you think collaboration is important?

Collaboration allows you to learn, to be introduced to new ideas and share knowledge. I think sharing makes everybody stronger. In the western world people are very protective and scared of being copied and that is a shame. I prefer to be more open, welcoming a dialogue and feedback. There is a strong sense of being an artist and representing Bali, so why not help each other to bring out the best of Bali together.


However, sharing and openness can sometimes be a bit tricky and teams can unashamedly copy. At the end of the day we must be happy that people look up to our team as the leaders in this green movement. It pushes us to be at the top of our game. Other teams across Bali are becoming really skilled weavers now and so we cannot ever become complacent, we’ve got to keep moving forward and excite -Innovate.

According to you, what is a creative event?

An event that inspires people, opens their eyes to different areas of creativity, and makes them want to tell others about their experiences. For example TEDx - it’s people sharing a space, that gives them new information, there is art, different foods – they leave needing to process what they have experienced. The effect might not be obvious straight away but I think the right creative event can inspire the soul.

Why do you think joining Elami will bring good things to Make a Scene?

Elami are all about ‘The Best of Bali’. Everything is so carefully sourced, hand-selected and really carefully curated-. Their events are delivered sensitively and in a conscious way. Elami will enable us to continue proudly representing Bali to a wider audience . Elami is ‘from Bali’ and ‘for Bali’. They are fully engaged in the Balinese culture, landscape and sense of place- as non-western as possible! We at MAS! want to be part of that.

Tell us 3 words that spark creativity

Joy : You have to have joy in what you’re doing.

Commitment: You have to commit because sometimes you have to fight for something you create, and argue for it, and push it. Good things don’t come easily.

And possibility! ‘A child would say. ‘I want to be a princess in the day time and hairdresser in the night time and a vet on Sundays. ‘Anything is possible!’

I guess I haven’t let go of my inner child as I wanted to be a creative and to live in Bali one day and look where I am now- actually living my dream!

The most important word for me is the commitment. I think you can have possibilities and be joyful but if you don’t have the drive or the correct tools to get the job done, your ideas will just remain in your head.

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