Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Patterns: Metaphors of Life

“I wanted to recapture the essence of what it is that made me paint in the first place, so I went back to being personal in my subject matter. Patterns have been a favorite subject of mine, as we are reflections of guided habits, as natural as eating at a certain time, breathing, birth and death, we all must conform to the natural timing of the world ...”

In every facet of living, being creatures of habit, we follow certain patterns that guide us – from the continuous rise and fall of heavenly bodies that give us directions of time and space, to the rhythm of the tides that directs our movements, and even to the beats of our hearts that tell us what we feel or our physical state. These patterns that exist intrinsically in our nature and lives have become the main focus of this artist’s interest.

It is intrinsic for she follows her own rhythm. Every mood and color that she evokes in each work is a pattern itself from her life and being, from the way she painted the differing colors and pathways of her days as evinced from her renditions of the times of the day in Midday, Twilight and Dusk, to how she sees seasons change in Spring and Sunshower; to even the textures of her environ Good Earth, Savannah and Celadon. It is through the rhythmic patterns of her works that the artist invites us to engage in her discovery.

“Patterns are indigenous to daily life like maps, they guide our hearts, and movements, and inner clockwork, defining our personalities as they endlessly repeat and over lap.” *

What becomes more engaging in the artist’s works is the way she divides her patterns and rhythms into sections that when re-arranged, a new symphony arises. Attributable to the artist’s graphic design aesthetics, she manipulates her patterns in a way that gives freedom to the viewer to re-compose her images and yet never losing the visual beat that she has created.

Ground Upon My Feet
is purely reminiscent of the changes that undergoes the ground beneath us and how nature changes herself on a regular and dynamic way. The artist creates these same patterns on planar strips that when visually re-assigned can create new meaning and yet manages to still maintain the same dynamic rhythm.

Patterns are indigenous to our daily lives, yes. And so is change. Metropolis approaches this theme to the hilt. Change the position of the visual “roads”, create new environs, and yet it is still one whole living breathing city.

“…I painted with conviction the only way I know how to - from the gut. With every canvas, you will be partnered with for a certain time, there is a rhythm. And as sure as we decide what to do with our lives each moment, we forge our paths only to be seen, as we look back in memory and account for the things we have done in the past. I started my paintings with the long canvasses, and entitled it appropriately as “Pathways”. It seemed appropriate during that time as each painting was a revelation of each facet of my personality. Each of it was a discovery, and the summed up total was in fact, a pattern.”

The artist’s usage of smaller canvases to make up a whole is in essence what we are all made up of – bits and pieces of experiences, stories that are told and unfold each day. Metaphorically, the re-arrangements, breaks and repetitions of these patterns become bars in a sheet of music that separate each movement from one another and yet cohesive as one big lyrical arrangement. It is the artist’s parallelism of a song from the life of a young woman living and exploring the wonders of a so-called life.

graphic design (living ornament), MFA Maryland Institute of Art


Written by yours truly and published in Manila Bulletin, March 31, 2008.

This was written for my artist friend Marga Rodriguez who's having her
first solo exhibit Patterns: Metaphors of Life at the Renaissance Gallery, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Philippines. On April 11, 2008, 6pm. The show runs till April 21. For details please call: 637-3101.


Ebb Tide said...

Wonderfully and beautifully written. Best wishes to Marga! I am always happy to hear Filipina artist having an art show.

palma tayona said...

i am in full support of dynamic female artists. this country and culture needs more of them. :-)