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Ecological visions on quilt

By Ritchie Landis Doner Quijano
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:21:00 06/23/2008

Filed Under: Arts (general)

MANILA, Philippines - The artist?s images seem to jump out of the canvas. They play and mingle in a harmonious environment?man co-existing with nature.

Cebuana artist Paulina Constancia paints the ideal picture. The artist from Cebu is a total creative spirit in her creative prime?proficient in different art mediums but able to retain the consistency of her artwork?s distinct style, form and content.

Constancia has a penchant for experimenting with new materials and techniques. She and her art form has matured and evolved from pure two-dimensional paintings into works that portray her advocacies on the environment, for example.

Her creative journey started very early, at age 17 in Cebu, when she opened a fashion boutique where she designed her own line of clothes and shoes while finishing school. She composed music and played the flute as a pioneering member of the Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra between 1993 and 1995.

But the visual arts were her true calling.

A largely self-taught artist, Constancia finished Mass Communications at St. Theresa?s College in 1991. She enrolled in arts courses during her travels abroad.

In 1997, she was awarded a studio residency grant at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, USA. The residency culminated with the show ?Tropical Flavors,? at the Red Mill Gallery in Vermont.

The following year, she attended the Academy of Art College for a sculpture program in San Francisco, California. In 1997, she also studied at Bellas Artes, Instituto Allende and Clay Ol in San Miquel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

She studied molding clay, wove stories while firing tiles, painted quilts, experimented with assemblage using construction materials and found objects, did sculptures of welded metals, and wrote poetry.

Since 1995, she has held 18 solo exhibitions here and abroad. Now her journey continues with her 19th solo show, ?Quiltopia,? at Artist Space of the Ayala Museum in Makati.

Lighter medium

The show features her latest body of works on painted quilts, her most current transition in the art-making process. She thought of the technique while she was in Mexico.

?I was in Mexico working on a series of clay bas-relief,? she said. ?I wanted to build bigger pieces but was worried about the cost of shipment and the possibility of breakage in transit. I had to think about how I could mimic the relief effect of clay in a lighter and more travel-friendly medium. Fabric and batting [foam backing] offered the solution.?

?I stitched my design over a layer of canvas and batting and then painted,? she added. ?Thus, I coined the term ?painted quilts.? Then when I was in Toronto working on a new collection with a limited time frame, I decided to paint and stitch directly on a stretched canvas [minus the batting]. So the painted quilts evolved into what I call ?paintitchings? [painting plus stitching].?

Constancia merged the painting-quilting-stitching techniques and imagery of what to her is the ideal life and environment.

?This collection showcases the evolution of my painted quilts,? she explained. ?Over all, the images that I create revolve around a world where man and nature harmoniously co-exist. There is mutual respect, cooperation and a joyful sense of connectedness. The good news is that this ideal existence that I portray in my art can certainly be made real with a little guidance, thanks to permaculture. We all have a lot to learn from Mother Nature?s patterns and relational dynamic.?

A percentage from the sale of this collection will be donated to the educational program at Cabiokid, a permaculture development site in Nueva Ecija.

(For more details about the wonderful work they do at Cabiokid, check out its website, www.cabiokid.org.)

?Permaculture is designing with fun and joy, building with what grows, and ultimately harvesting a nature-inspired happiness and respect for real beauty,? Constancia said.

?Central to all my creations is the message of love. Love for self, love for others, the love of solitude and the love of communion. And with this message comes my personal love of experimenting and learning,?

The imagery she presents is full of personal symbols, like a visual autobiography. The symbols all point to one message?man?s humble and peaceful co-existence with nature.
MANILA, Philippines - The artist?s images seem to jump out of the canvas. They play and mingle in a harmonious environment?man co-existing with nature.

Cebuana artist Paulina Constancia paints the ideal picture. The artist from Cebu is a total creative spirit in her creative prime?proficient in different art mediums but able to retain the consistency of her artwork?s distinct style, form and content.

Constancia has a penchant for experimenting with new materials and techniques. She and her art form has matured and evolved from pure two-dimensional paintings into works that portray her advocacies on the environment, for example.

Her creative journey started very early, at age 17 in Cebu, when she opened a fashion boutique where she designed her own line of clothes and shoes while finishing school. She composed music and played the flute as a pioneering member of the Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra between 1993 and 1995.

But the visual arts were her true calling.

A largely self-taught artist, Constancia finished Mass Communications at St. Theresa?s College in 1991. She enrolled in arts courses during her travels abroad.

In 1997, she was awarded a studio residency grant at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, USA. The residency culminated with the show ?Tropical Flavors,? at the Red Mill Gallery in Vermont.

The following year, she attended the Academy of Art College for a sculpture program in San Francisco, California. In 1997, she also studied at Bellas Artes, Instituto Allende and Clay Ol in San Miquel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

She studied molding clay, wove stories while firing tiles, painted quilts, experimented with assemblage using construction materials and found objects, did sculptures of welded metals, and wrote poetry.

Since 1995, she has held 18 solo exhibitions here and abroad. Now her journey continues with her 19th solo show, ?Quiltopia,? at Artist Space of the Ayala Museum in Makati.

Lighter medium

The show features her latest body of works on painted quilts, her most current transition in the art-making process. She thought of the technique while she was in Mexico.

?I was in Mexico working on a series of clay bas-relief,? she said. ?I wanted to build bigger pieces but was worried about the cost of shipment and the possibility of breakage in transit. I had to think about how I could mimic the relief effect of clay in a lighter and more travel-friendly medium. Fabric and batting [foam backing] offered the solution.?

?I stitched my design over a layer of canvas and batting and then painted,? she added. ?Thus, I coined the term ?painted quilts.? Then when I was in Toronto working on a new collection with a limited time frame, I decided to paint and stitch directly on a stretched canvas [minus the batting]. So the painted quilts evolved into what I call ?paintitchings? [painting plus stitching].?

Constancia merged the painting-quilting-stitching techniques and imagery of what to her is the ideal life and environment.

?This collection showcases the evolution of my painted quilts,? she explained. ?Over all, the images that I create revolve around a world where man and nature harmoniously co-exist. There is mutual respect, cooperation and a joyful sense of connectedness. The good news is that this ideal existence that I portray in my art can certainly be made real with a little guidance, thanks to permaculture. We all have a lot to learn from Mother Nature?s patterns and relational dynamic.?

A percentage from the sale of this collection will be donated to the educational program at Cabiokid, a permaculture development site in Nueva Ecija.

(For more details about the wonderful work they do at Cabiokid, check out its website, www.cabiokid.org.)

?Permaculture is designing with fun and joy, building with what grows, and ultimately harvesting a nature-inspired happiness and respect for real beauty,? Constancia said.

?Central to all my creations is the message of love. Love for self, love for others, the love of solitude and the love of communion. And with this message comes my personal love of experimenting and learning,?

The imagery she presents is full of personal symbols, like a visual autobiography. The symbols all point to one message?man?s humble and peaceful co-existence with nature.



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