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haunted / talisman


*Three witches line the corridor; their secret hand signals hex all who pass.

Meticulously drawn large canvas surfaces give rise to a visual vocabulary of imagery stemming from an exploration of a ‘self’ that is neither fixed nor stable, but celebrates multiplicity and hybridity between notions of the body proper, and the body as environment/landscape. Taking influence from various sources such as childhood games and Filipino folk-tales of witch/vampire characters called Asuangs, the inevitable task of decay and decomposition in and associated with nature, geological processes of erosion, striation and crystal formations, in conjunction with the idea of making and the woven – come together to both map and simultaneously dissect a body reconfigured and monstrofied.

The concern for the investigation of ‘self’ in relation to what is considered ‘shelter’ and/or ‘home’ is suggested through the presence of archetypal structures borrowed from the Canadian Rockies, prairie fields, weather systems, and flora/fauna both Western and Tropical, that question our desires for stability, preservation, presence and protection, against or alongside the forces of nature both real and/or manufactured. What results is a creation of personal myth, an invention that parallels and mimics experience, but is negotiated through the supernatural and otherworldly.

The narrative details within the drawn works invite the viewers to step closer to the pieces, while the exaggerated and gigantified forms beckon a distanced view. The large drawings create an encounter/conflict that not only occurs on a physical and experiential level, but also on a thematic and symbolical level that requires navigating through the complex systems that define and interface each other.

light as a feather, stiff as a board are sibling works that together reference a childhood game involving repetitive chanting in which to harness levitative powers unto a reclined participant. Here this ‘ritual’ takes place during magic hour, a transitory time of day where all is possible, under the turbulent skies of an open landscape. Multiple figures appear to balance a figure suspended, each one comprised of objects from the natural and fabricated world that seem to engulf and yet support them. In the second panel, a flat plane of vivid color suggests the intensity of a static world. The suspended figure appears alone, the severed areas of the body now revealed as the figure simultaneously hovers stiff as a board within the vortex of an alternate or parallel universe. Perhaps occurring within the mind of the floating figure, this quiet yet vibrant domain suggests the body has become an object, one of many powers, the body as talisman.

A life-size figure draped and enveloped with an abundance of hair that threatens to consume the figure, threatens also to become animate within the viewer’s space.  This asuang becomes a three-dimensional counterpart to the sibling drawings, and her posture is one of a forward moving stance. As she takes her step, her forward right foot is severed from the limb, and is located at a distance from the rest of her form; crystals shooting forth from the sole of her foot suggesting an uprooting and/or precarious balance. She becomes the counter and compliment to her maker. She is a multiple of an object, of a self, of an experience, of a fiction.

Informed by an appropriation of past and present narratives and experiences, pop culture, science and science-fiction, while seeking to negotiate the line between childhood and adulthood and the boundaries tested and breached within play in order to understand fear and fascination, these recent works convey ideas of multiplicity, reconfiguration, and thus, transformation. Their narratives, though carefully conceived and articulated, remain open ended and ambiguous, asking the viewer to enter through a loophole, and perhaps, deviate.

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