Artist Dawani de Leon finds inspirations in flowers captured in moments from random walks in the gardens, or in significant life celebrations for her latest exhibit, Script of the Season.
Featuring petals, buds, stems and leaves in her latest collection, the exhibit opened on November 9 at the Boston Gallery in Cubao, Quezon City. It also showcased the artist’s unique technique, which collected, laid out and painted different flowers in colors and variations onto the flat pictorial plane of the canvas.
Well aware of the evanescence of flowers, de Leon’s act of gathering is a symbolic gesture of reminiscence, as it is a commentary on the cycle of life.
She draws from memory that stems from concrete moments in space and time and in objects that stimulate recollection. Petals and sepals accumulated by de Leon signal remembrances at several instances of encounter: smell, sight, touch, feeling and insight that imbricate at a given moment in time.
Guided by the impulse of a collector and botanist, she captures these memories as ephemeral installations and translates them into visual ethnographies. She names her arrangements with scientific names, reinforcing her involvement in the process of finding and discovery.
Here lies de Leon’s attempt to defeat the so-called Script of the Seasons. While a script entails a durational structure telling of fixed cycles of life, death, and rebirth, it is through art and experience that enables the beholder of memories to suspend instances, to impart the vitality of what once was, and to intuit a future. Such practice allows the artist to examine her role as a sensitive commentator of nature’s unwieldy patterns expressed fluidly in poetry and painting.
De Leon received her BFA in Painting at the University of the Philippines-Diliman magna cum laude. In 2010, she was the Philippine representative in the Asean Youth Camp, Traditional Arts and Crafts category under the auspices of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. She was Finalist in the 43rd Shell National Students Art Competition in the same year. As a student at the Philippine High School for the Arts, she was awarded Most Outstanding Student-Artist and received the MARIA Scholarship in 2008. Dawani has participated in group exhibitions; among them Icons at Boston Gallery and New Nationalism at Light and Space Contemporary, both in 2013; Kalayaan at the UP Vargas Museum in 2012.
The exhibit will run until November 26 at The Boston Gallery.