Two artists, Melli Villavicencio and Kimberly Mamaril, are equating how a prism transforms light into a myriad of colors with the act of artistic creation itself.
Artists, after all, have this prism-like role in turning what is illuminated in society as well as ideas and external factors into visual interpretations. According to Villavicencio and Mamaril: “We internalize the external factors that come through us and we try to make sense of the world out of it. We bend the light and conceive a spectrum of stories.”
An entire rainbow of vision boards can be viewed at ARTablado, Level 3, Robinsons Galleria from March 1-15. Both artists also see painting as their way of silently battling through a pandemic: of sharing their experiences and stories, giving viewers access into their thought process, amplifying the message.
Kimberly Mamaril used to work as a copywriter in an advertising agency before deciding to pursue painting as a fulltime career. She uses the powerful tool of advertising to subvert and confound their original purpose and intention, veering away from the “literal” and into the “lateral”. Mamaril expresses themes of railing against consumerism, the digital age, and the sexual objectification of women via pop imagery that is juxtaposed and fragmented.
Aside from teaching visual communications in St. Paul’s College, Pasig, Melli Villavicencio teaches art therapy for children under the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Villavicencio is known for her colorful, fancy, almost child-like visual style — whimsical yet introspective at the same time.
Mamaril and Villavicencio understood that they were both operating within the same wavelength, similar palettes of sensibilities. Thus, a pairing was in order. For the two-person exhibition at ARTablado, both see themselves as prisms, transmuting light and experiences into colorful vistas on canvas.
“Colors and emotions are closely linked,” explains Kimberly. “I use saturated and bold colors inspired by Pop Art and how advertisers use colors.” But she utilizes cheerful, upbeat colors with a goal in mind: catch your attention, draw you in, surprise you with a message that is not at all cheerful or optimistic. “The messages are bold, though,” assures Kimberly.
Melli agrees that colors do affect our moods and thoughts. She also sees the prism as an emblem of one’s personal transformation. “The light source symbolizes the things we face in our lives. How the light moves inside a prism is how we react. And the ‘rainbow’ that comes out is the output, what we put out.”
To mount an exhibition during this long, protracted pandemic had been really challenging for the two.
“I’ve been confined to my studio, staying within the parameters of my place,” shares Kimberly. “I felt stuck and limited for a while, but it taught me to be more resourceful. Despite the challenges, we were able to persevere.” Melli relied on online stores for paint supplies and her father for stretching her canvases. “In time, we were able to adjust to the new normal. The pandemic has changed me: it has made me think deeply and discover the things that really matter.” She used these recent discoveries to make new creations.
Both are thankful that ARTablado provided them an opportunity to share their epiphanies about color, light, the pandemic, artistic visions, and the human spirit.
Kimberly shares, “ARTablado gives a platform, not only to established artists, but also to budding artists like us who have just started navigating the art scene. They are really helping the Filipino artists to power through, even and especially in the midst of the pandemic. And I think that is beautiful and inspiring.”
Melli reveals how scared and excited she was when ARTablado invited her and Kimberly to mount a show. “This has been almost two years in the making and I really thank ARTablado for helping and guiding us throughout the process. Even when the pandemic hit, I just thought the exhibit wouldn’t push through anymore but the people behind ARTablado kept in contact with us. There are so many untapped talents out there that need guidance in creating an exhibition like this.”
For Villavicencio and Mamaril, ARTablado extends a platform to aspiring visionaries and allows them to express all the hues and gradients of their inner prisms.
Established in 2020, ARTablado, a portmanteau of “art” and “entablado” (Filipino word for stage) is Robinsons Land’s very own stage in showcasing the Filipino ingenuity and creativity. This platform allows emerging artists to freely express themselves through art and paves the way to greater recognition of their talent and hard work.