Blooming In Adversity: Filipino Artist Blossoms Into Her Own With Latest Exhibit That Examines Return To Normalcy - Arts & Culture

Out of the woods and into the fray, painter-sculptor Katrina Cuenca has jumped right back into the game.

The result is years’ worth of processing a pandemic that has changed everyone’s lives only for everyone to inevitably find their footing against the odds.

“Slowly We Unfurl” conveys this exact phenomenon of Filipinos returning to a semblance of normal life. This exhibit staged from November 14 to 25 at Galerie Joaquin Rockwell features paintings and sculptures of flowerlike forms.

Such visuals are “on the cusp of blossoming, their undulating petals rendered in muted, soothing shades.” Their steady but graceful movement ties these elements together as if to evoke the coming of spring.

“I wanted to somehow depict how humanity is ‘reblossoming’ after all the quarantines and lockdowns,” Cuenca explained. Hence, the painting and sculpture series retains elements of her signature style even as she navigates new aesthetic terrain.


Aside from the sense of movement and flow, there is the use of gold leaf for the paintings. Cuenca also marks a departure from her previous work by using lighter pigments for the new paintings. This was in line with the collection’s hopeful theme so as to signal an optimistic future ahead.

Meanwhile, her sculptures have transitioned from metallic and jet-black tones to illuminated shades on white bases.

“For the paintings, the composition is very different from my past works. As for the sculptures, the color palette as well as the flow and shape of the figures are different as well. As an abstract artist, it is very important to explore new things. I’m really happy this exhibit paved the way for that exercise,” Cuenca said.

The artist admitted enjoying her shift in mindset while working on pieces for the exhibit.

With “Slowly We Unfurl,” she was able to explore beyond her boundaries even as an abstract artist.

The self-taught talent again experimented with figures, patterns, and textures to continuously rediscover and evolve her art practice based on life experiences.

“Although I know the pandemic isn’t over, I am happy to see how people are reemerging into society and how we are learning to adapt to our current situation. I can see that we all have learned a lot about ourselves and how much we can endure. It seems we are coming out of this stronger and more hopeful,” Cuenca concluded.

Banner Photo by Katrina Cuenca.

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