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Monday, August 13, 2007

IN FOCUS : WAWI NAVARROZA


WAWI NAVARROZA

WINNER
ATENEO ART AWARDS 2007

RECIPIENT
2007 ATENEO ART GALLERY – ARTESAN GALLERY SINGAPORE RESIDENCY GRANT


SATURNINE A COLLECTION OF PORTRAITS, CREATURES, GLASS & SHADOW
shown at SILVERLENS GALLERY (Manila)
January 18 - February 17, 2007
• • •
Saturnine is about the aftermath of loss, of things that went away.
It speaks about temporality and the inevitable passage of time (Saturn/Chronos).
And also, of the Eternal that exists all the while...
• • •





THE CITATION


Ansel Adams once wrote that, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” Wawi Navarroza takes this to heart. Her photographs, “starts in the head. All the tableaus / plates are already done in the head and all I have to do is to shoot….” She not merely takes photographs; she creates photographs as recreation of the images in her mind.

Her interrogations into the nature and duality of light and shadows, musings on myth and mysticism, and contemplations on Conscious and Unconscious are coupled with a mature manipulation of the photographic medium. Using monochrome film to capture the images, she goes through the process of altering the negatives using chemicals, creating chaos, disintegration, control and destruction. The act of destruction is part of the moment of creation.

She does not turn her back to photography’s heritage but instead pays homage and embraces its past and connects with its present as she renders her manipulated negatives into the digital format and the final output is printed in digital.

The richly textured and multi-layered images in Navarroza’s photographs, images of “creatures (things created) and anthrophomorphised ideas devised by my imagination,” isa a result of Navarroza’s experiments with the photographic process which is for her akin to alchemy – a mixture of chemistry, spirituality, philosophy, psychology, and art, all metamorphose into an array of visually stunning, thought-provoking, and melancholy-inducing images, her “songs of shade.”


- Eloisa May P. Hernandez

THE ARTIST


WAWI NAVARROZA is a full-time photographer and a visual poet. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, Major in Communication Arts-Photography from De La Salle University, Manila, mentored by the acclaimed Filipina contemporary artist/curator Judy Sibayan. Navarroza uses photography to depict the imaginal world behind her eyes where visions, observations, emotions, and thoughts crystalize into symbolic portraits and visual poems. She's a pilgrim-gypsy traveling the wet royal road of dreams, mindscapes and psychological dark corners in silent pursuit of mapping out the Self. Her imagery stands with the backbone of myth, poetry, and song. Storytelling and narrative are common in her works. The dark and brooding melancholy present in her tableaus are direct mirrors of her musings on the ephemeral nature of things. Her portraits are both disturbing and subtle at the same time; the acidic darkroom experiments extensions of her study. For her, "distressing the negative emulsion is a symbolic process akin to scratching the gelatinous eye of the subconscious wherein one can see lucid truths about this whole business of being "Human"." Her works have been awarded in a number of contests/ocassions, such as the ones by the Art Association of the Philippines (2000, 2003), and in "Con Otros Ojos" Barcelona, Spain (2000). In 2006, she received citation as one of the awardees for the Ateneo Art Awards, the Philippines' premiere museum of Philippine contemporary art. Some of her images appear in the art book "Delve: An Exploration of Visual Culture" (New York), and in coffeetable books "Epson Imaging Exposition Best Images 2005" (Manila) and Aurora Borealis' "Noorderlicht: Another Asia" (Netherlands). In 2006, her successful début photo exhibition entitled "POLYSACCHARIDE: THE DOLLHOUSE DRAMA" (2005) has commenced its international tour: in Malaysia at the Universiti Sains Malaysia Museum & Gallery (July) and in the Netherlands for the Noorderlicht Photography Festival main exhibition entitled "Another Asia" at the Fries Museum (September). It continues its journey to Siem Reap, Cambodia at the Angkor Photography Festival 2006 (November). She recently launched her second one-person fine art photography exhibit SATURNINE: A COLLECTION OF PORTRAITS, CREATURES, GLASS & SHADOW at Silver Lens Gallery (Manila) in January 2007. She lives beside the lake and collects dust on her eyelashes.


All data extracted 12 August 2007 from Ms. Navarroza’s online sites:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wawinavarroza
http://wawinavarroza.multiply.com
http://wawinavarroza.blogspot.com

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