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Sunday, January 15, 2012

ECHOES OF THE PAST


Alliance Française de Manille (AFM) presents
"Echoes of the Past, new paintings of Batanes"
by Victoria Abad Kerblat

Victoria Abad Kerblat is a Franco- Filipino artist, from a family deeply rooted in Batanes, in the northernmost part of the Philippines.

A biologist by training, specializing in tropical medicine, she left her country in 1979 to work in refugee camps, initially in Thailand. She then worked, traveled and lived in 3 continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. She is currently living in Manila and is strongly associated with all the art projects of Fundacion Pacita in order to perpetuate the legacy of her late sister Pacita Abad, a well-known International artist.

It was her sister who encouraged her to pursue a career in art. Over time, she took art courses in Thailand, France and Switzerland. Her career as a painter developed further when she went to live in France, near the Swiss border of Geneva, where her growing sons pursued their education. While in France, her “new” grandmother Paulette Blanchenay,(her husband’s grandmother) also a known artist, influenced her to do watercolor.

Her painting is characterized by constant evolution in styles and patterns. She began with portraits of refugees from the hill tribes of Laos, and was then greatly influenced by the colors of Southern Africa, its soil, land, vegetation, skies, and light. She has exhibited in numerous countries, exploring and experimenting with different art media. She incorporates Asian materials, using natural pigment in her paintings, mostly realized in Europe. She has also introduced recycled materials with the intent that younger generations will appreciate their inherent beauty.

She will be exhibiting at the Alliance Francaise de Manille's Total Gallery from January 17 to February 7, 2012. All 15 works relate to Batanes, and involve her most recent technique of using indigenous materials, and natural pigment on oil.

On this occasion, Victoria Abad Kerblat will also launch her book, “Javid sawen nu Vatan!” / “How beautiful is Batanes!”, a collection of her early watercolor paintings, depicting the life and the memories of her childhood days.

This exhibition is part of her personal campaign to preserve the heritage of Batanes, some of which dates back to 16th and 17th century, and which contributes to the uniqueness of the province and the many traditions that have survived through the centuries. It is this essence of Batanes -- ECHOES FROM THE PAST -- that she has endeavored to capture in this exhibition.

Victoria Abad Kerblat’s exhibition “Echoes from the Past, new paintings of Batanes” opens on Tuesday, January 17, 2012, at the Alliance Française Total Gallery of the Alliance Française de Manille, with cocktails at 6:30pm to 9pm. The exhibit runs until February 7, 2012. For high resolution images of the artworks and more details about the exhibit, kindly contact Mr. Earl Parco (AFM Cultural Officer) at 895 7441 / 895 7585 or email cultural@alliance.ph, or visit the AFM website at www.alliance.ph.

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