The exhibit features paintings and sculptures of flower-like forms on the cusp of blossoming—a symbolism of the world’s population slowly emerging from the uncertainties of the lockdown
Filipina painter and sculptor Katrina Cuenca celebrates the world’s gradual re-emergence from the pandemic lockdowns thru her latest exhibit titled “Slowly We Unfurl.” Running from Nov. 12 to 25, 2022 at Galerie Joaquin Rockwell, the exhibition features paintings and sculptures of flower-like forms on the brink of blossoming.
“I wanted to somehow depict how humanity is ‘re-blossoming’ after all the quarantines and lockdowns,” Cuenca explains. “Although I know the pandemic isn’t over, I am happy to see how people are re-emerging into society and how we are learning to adapt to our current situation.”
Cuenca’s signature aesthetic of graceful movements, flow, and the use of gold leaf is readily seen on the works presented at the exhibit.
Cuenca also experiments with her craft on her latest show. Notable is her use of a special light-absorbing black paint, which she used on both paintings and sculptures on display. The paint absorbs 99.8 percent of light, and gives a strikingly matte, dark finish.
To contrast her experimentations, Cuenca also uses brighter pigments for her pieces, which signals brighter days ahead, according to the artist. From nighttime to morning, the shift and play of tones symbolizes the re-emergence of the world from a bleak dark past to a more hopeful present. This is reflected from her sculptures, which have gone from metallic and jet black tones to illuminated shades on white bases.
Cuenca goes even further with her experimentation at the exhibit. “For some of my pieces, I attach a prismatic dichroic film onto an acrylic box which I then use to cover the artwork, to add another dimension to the piece, when the light hits the film and projects a holographic pattern on the painting or sculpture,” Cuenca adds.
“I like to think that light is sort of an external medium for my art. I like to play with different finishes and textures and materials that react differently to light. I find it fascinating how we perceive and experience things differently, with just a subtle change of atmosphere.”
Cuenca is now a well-known abstract artist. She is self-taught, and has been drawing and painting since childhood. Despite taking up finance instead of fine arts in college, Cuenca has indeed flourished in the arts scene. Cuenca has had multiple well-received solo exhibitions and has participated in the Philippines’ longest-running visual arts fair, ManilART, in 2020 and 2021.
“Slowly We Unfurl” will run from Nov. 14 to 25, 2022 at Galerie Joaquin Rockwell. Galerie Joaquin is on Facebook and on Instagram: @galeriejoaquin.