Category Archives: Creativity

Horror Vacui

How would you feel about inhabiting the empty spaces in your life? 

I am far from being religious, but the Jesuits have a soft spot in my heart. And this, this speaks to me. 

I struggled with Horror Vacui in 2016 and I have been wanting to face this issue head-on this year. There’s just too much running around, too much fire and air, too much static, to many to-do lists. I need my quiet time, to inhabit my empty spaces again to find my voice, to just be
http://pinsoflight.net/2017/04/16/horror-vacui/

Happy Easter, friends. 

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rePORTS at 98B

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“rePORTS is a mode under the “TALKS” program of 98B. It features local artist presentations of their trips, residencies or conferences outside of the country. It aims to provide a platform where artists who have gone overseas can impart to the local art community the process they went through before, during and after these trips, and more significantly, their experiences and learnings.”

Reposting from 98B’s FB page. See you on Saturday! 

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Lord of (the F)lies

“Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend called Piggy.” (Lord of the Flies)

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Another year older

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I spent my birthday in Escolta surrounded by worn out spaces from a bygone era that whisper their stories through the chipped walls, fading paint, and the layers of dust that embrace forgotten belongings. The nicks and cracks alone can make even the most prosaic of men to wax nostalgic, but there is no room there for sentimentality. A decrepit shop window surprises you with an intriguing art installation, while the former site of a department store is now the home to a bustling community of artisans and creative entrepreneurs. The elegant architecture remains—albeit weathered and worn—but it is now charged with youthful, colorful, contemporary energy that makes you look forward to the future, that makes you excited to see what’s next for this place.

It was not a bad way to spend my birthday. It gently reminded me that everything old can be made new again, that change is constant but old things need not be discarded. It made me remember my favorite line from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: ‘Omnia Mutantur, Nihil Interit. ‘Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.’ Not a bad day at all.

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Art Class: art journal

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Start keeping a creative journal now! Contact me if you want to learn how to do observational drawings and basic watercolor & collage techniques. Email: teacherstephp@gmail.com or text 09167676574. #artclass #Manila #drawing #painting #watercolor #journal #Sketchbook

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On losing my voice

From September 2006. Almost didn’t recognize myself.

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Child of Saturn

Something clicked into place inside me. I awoke with a start, jumped out of bed as the sun rose, and started cleaning my room. I threw open all the windows, scrubbed the floorboards, dusted my bookshelves, and changed the sheets. I rearranged the furniture with Herculean determination; I would have torn down walls and transplanted my room to a sunnier spot had I not realized that I was only renting a room and did not own the place. General cleaning was in order.

This could be the effect of the Full Moon or it could be that I just got tired of being tired. I spent the whole day yesterday in bed, nursing a colossal hangover. I didn’t really drink that much; with two bottles of beer and a sip of cheap red wine, I willed myself into drunkenness. I was desperate for a reprieve from that barren child who had been spending endless hours splayed on the floor, defeated, reeking with suffocating saturnine malaise and dripping with melancholy.

I was only able to slip away from her tight grip for a couple of hours. When I opened my eyes she was roosting on my chest, scratching the lint on my shirt with muddied claws, staring at the black moth that somehow got into my room. I wonder if she would let it escape. Too exhausted to move, I allowed myself to be swallowed by darkness. An hour later and I was up. She had moved to a corner, her scraggly head resting on a pile of dirty clothes. The moth was gone.

I rummaged through the fridge for nourishment. I opened a bag of fresh greens. My body was screaming for meat, but I couldn’t be bothered to cook. I finished half a gallon of water hoping that would flush down the toxins and cobwebs from my system. There was still no running water (it was the third day; the manager of the building said it would be back by tomorrow) and the electricity was low. I could turn on the fan but not the lights, the telly but not the computer. Frustrated, I return to my room. Mélancolie, as I now start calling her, coaxed me to return to bed. With nothing to do, I gave in. Sleep took over instantly.

It was dark outside when I woke up. The lights were still not working; I turn on the TV. Not even the Sports News could rouse an emotion from me. Spain lost to Northern Ireland? I turn my head the other way and face the wretched creature that has been siphoning my energy. I study her face with indifference—her slithery hair shining in half light, weathered skin that was both greasy and parched, pudgy and taut, her eyes drowning in darkened sockets. She was not malevolent in any way, I realized. She was just devoid of everything; a useless lump of mass occupying space for no reason at all.

I began talking to her, asking her questions. She remained in her wraith-like state, more interested in flicking specks of dirt from her nails than speaking to me. I poked, I prodded. WHY ARE YOU HERE?!? Her apathy enraged me. I started pulling her at her yellow-stained sleeves. I pushed her off the bed. I grabbed her neck and threw her against the night table. WHY? WHY? WHY? Not a screech, a whimper, a moan. WILL YOU EVER LET ME GO? My head started to throb. I wanted to kill.

I stepped back and started to weep. The scream that was thrashing inside my lungs for days was no longer silent. Primordial anger, hate, sorrow, pride, guilt, and wrath pulsated within my shell, erupting from my chest, tearing down the stone cold moor around my heart. I am sorry. I was wrong.

I sat in front of her; I am shivering. She doesn’t ask for comfort or care; I offer her none. I reached for the nearest trinket on the table, a half-eaten chocolate bar, and left it beside her. I bid her goodnight.

Something clicked into place within me this morning. She is gone. Saturn’s child will be back someday. In the meantime I am alone again. I am free to open the windows and air out my soul.

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Meowy Christmas

For the first time in a long time, I finally want to decorate my house for the Christmas season. I want a big, fat tree, but I’ve seen too many YouTube videos of cats taking down Christmas trees so I’m a little apprehensive about getting one.

Look at this. See what I mean? It’s adorable and all, but it can be dangerous for my fur kids, not too mention tiring for me. I don’t want to clean up all day! Well, I already do that, but let’s not add tassels, broken ornaments, and plastic leaves to the list. :mrgreen:

So I decided to make one. I’ve been going on a sewing binge this weekend (I made curtains, a throw, and 2 cushion covers), so I made a prototype of my tree last night. I didn’t have enough felt, so the tree is only 14″ tall. I’ll have to get more fabric this month so in can make a 4 feet tall plush tree!

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Have a catty Christmas!

Last week a friend gave me a set of mobile phone ornaments, so I used them as decor for my tree. I think they’re purrrfect!

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

I added a topper this morning, a finger puppet from another friend.

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Meowy Christmas!

I’ve been having fun making different things last weekend. The stress has been getting to me, so I needed to regroup and get creative again. Hearing the steady sound of the seeing machine was comforting and relaxing. This is going to be a long week, so I’m glad I was able to disconnect and work with my hands again.

Yeah, I think this is just the beginning of my Christmas decor project. I’m having too much fun so why stop with just a tree? :mrgreen:

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Ghost

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Upside down. Peel.

“The house smelled musty and damp, and a little sweet, as if it were haunted by the ghosts of long-dead cookies.” 

–Neil Gaiman, American Gods

I had to unpack some of the garments from my Peel installation yesterday and I was hit by a sudden wave of nostalgia. After residing at the Little Theater Lobby for about a month, they smelled musty and old, enveloped in the aroma of worn wood and of art; they smelled strongly of the CCP.

The scent of my work took me back to the Cultural Center of my youth, a place simmering with beaming hope and wild expectations. For a time during the early 90s, I used to hang out in its hallowed halls. I joined a summer art workshop and bonded with my classmates and the organizers. We even formed a group—The XXI Strokes—and had a show called “First” (and last!!! Hah!) at a reputable gallery Manila after.

That was a passionate juncture in my life—for the first time I let myself believe that I could create art. Funny how I don’t remember the names of my fellow artists or the things that we did, but I recall snippets of our stint there: I see my hands cutting a design on a rubber mat for the first time, I am observing the underside of work tables as I try to take a nap on the floor, I catch beams of light as we go ghost hunting after dark, and I am sitting in awe, communing with the works of Luz and Ocampo. I don’t remember much, but I am certain that that mildewed and stale odor accompanied me like an old friend everywhere. It was not imposing or bothersome, mind you. But it was comforting, comfortable, and ever present.

My old friend greeted me at the door the first time we had our meeting at the CCP. In my excitement over the upcoming show, I failed to acknowledge his presence. I knew that he was there with me during the days of our setup, up to the days when I would introduce Peel to my friends. He was the steady hand that guided me through my artist talk and he sat quietly with me as I said goodbye to the empty space.

I was taken aback when the scent emerged as I unpacked my pieces. It was the CCP of my youth, yes, but the wiff of sawdust has altered it. I clung to the fabric and drew in the new mix. I have come full circle, that’s what it said. My previous hopes and expectations were now realized dreams and memories. That old friend served its purpose and is gone. This new one promises a fresh chapter imprinted with untrodden visions.

With all souls’ day fast approaching, I’m taking the time to honor my old friend. I was apprehensive about the future, of what comes next, but this little haunting reminded me that all was well. It made me look back and see how the dots I’ve planted even back then have all connected and are pointing me to the future. So, thank you, dear friend. Thank you.

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Sleeve. Peel.

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HANDMADE: Josephine Turalba

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Click. Tag. Share, 2015

HANDMADE features “Click. Tag. Share” by Josephine Turalba. Inspired from her travels to the non-West, she uses leatherwork as a means to re-imagine landscapes from memory.

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Out of Echoes, 2013

Josephine Turalba, born in Manila, Philippines is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice incorporates intersecting layers of different media: performance, sculpture, video, sound, photography. She holds an MFA, New Media from Transart Institute NY and Donau Universität Krems Austria and recently served as Dean at the School of Fine Arts and Design at the Philippine Women’s University (2012-2015).

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Ecdysis, 2010

Her works are in the collections of the Yuchengco Museum Manila, Philippines; Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Philippines; Omer M. Koc Collection, Istanbul, Turkey & London, UK; Francis J. Greenburger Collection, NY, USA. They have been exhibited in 2015 at the European Cultural Center (concurrent with the 56th Venice Biennale) and Hofburg Innsbruck, Austria; in 2014 at Arter Space Istanbul, Turkey, Simultan Festival #10, Romania, and Yuchengco Museum, Manila; in 2013 at JOGJA International Mini Print Festival, Indonesia, VII Tashkent Biennale of Contemporary Art, Uzbekistan, 2nd Kathmandu Intl Arts Festival, Nepal, and 2nd Izmir International Biennal, Turkey; in 2012 at Santorini Biennale, Greece; La Cinematheque Francaise, École des Beaux-Arts Paris, France; Werkstatt der Kulturen Berlin, Germany; M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, and The Pier-2 Art Center, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; in 2011 at South Hill Bracknel, UK, and Kunst-im-Tunnel Düsseldorf Germany, and Yuchengco Museum Manila; in 2010 at 12th Cairo Biennale, Egypt; in 2009 at Malta Contemporary Art Center; at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2007 and 2009; at the Lopez Museum, Manila in 2013, 2007 and 1992; and at the Ayala Museum Manila in 2013.

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Epona, 2013

Josephine Turalba’s works reflect on the politics of violence and dynamics of infliction and trauma, depicting spaces where empathy translates into healing. She negotiates influences from different cultures – foreign influences on Philippine culture and vice-versa, taking on an investigative approach to place and time (in history and the present), in relationship to a sense of self; using the female body as a ‘site’ of/on/around/for her sculptural pieces to speak of history and speak to different spaces in society. For the past six years, she has performed urban interventions in her sculptural bullet armour in different cities around the world investigating how histories of trauma define one’s identity through engagement with communities in marginal and liminal spaces.

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SMS Double Barrel, 2013

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SMS Double Barrel, 2013

To see more of Josephine Turalba’s work, go to her website at www.josephineturalba.com.

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