Turning defeat into triumph
In the Philippines, the month of May is known for the celebration of the Flores de Mayo. During that time, different parts of the country held their own Santacruzan, where Filipinas don their best garb while under floral arches in a procession that pays homage to the story of how Queen Helena, the mother of Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine, found the Holy Cross during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. That vibrant heritage is echoed in artist Ginny Guanco’s latest exhibit.
Dubbed “Festival,” the exhibit was set to feature 25 pieces of her art showcasing ladies festooned with flowers, indigenous prints, and elaborate headdresses. Unfortunately, due to a flash flood from a sudden downpour four days before the launch event, all of her paintings were destroyed. While what happened was truly an artist’s nightmare, Ginny, imbibing the attitude of her exhibit, was still in an optimistic state. On her birthday, May 23, she posted her artworks on social media, aiming to encourage hope and the anticipation of good and promising prospects.
“Through my works in this exhibit, I aim to depict the festive spirit and joyous disposition of the Filipino, amid the most trying situations,” Ginny explained. “We have seen so much darkness, so many shadows, because of the ravaging effects of the pandemic. The loss of lives and livelihood are realities we must face and accept. But I think that by putting on the light, by wearing the vibrant colors of joy, we can transition much more easily into a future that’s full of potential and promise. Filipinos are resilient because of their ability to look forward and hope for better times ahead. ‘Festival’ is my tribute to the indomitable Filipino spirit.”
In “Festival,” her paean to the Filipino’s inner strength is depicted through her intricately painted detailed ethnic designs and fantastic dream-like portraits bursting with flora and fauna. Ginny’s love for the feminine form stems from her childhood passion for drawing female faces and figures. She would dress up these drawings in different fashionable clothes according to particular themes. In school, she relentlessly pursued this passion by joining art contests and even winning on many occasions.
To see more of “Festival,” visit @artbyginnyg on Instagram.