Two artists, Melli Villavicencio and Kimberly Mamaril, equate the way a prism transforms light into a myriad of colors with the act of artistic creation itself.
Artists, after all, have this role of prism by transforming what is illuminated in society as well as external ideas and factors into visual interpretations. According to Villavicencio and Mamaril: “We internalize the external factors that pass through us and we try to make sense of the world. We bend the light and design 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 to silently fight a pandemic: to share their experiences and stories, to give viewers access to their thought process, to amplify the message.
Kimberly Mamaril worked as a copywriter at an advertising agency before deciding to pursue a full-time career in painting. It uses the powerful tool of advertising to subvert and confuse their original purpose and intent, moving away from the “literal” and towards the “lateral”. Mamaril expresses themes of plague against consumerism, the digital age and the sexual objectification of women via juxtaposed and fragmented pop imagery.
In addition to teaching visual communications at St. Paul’s College in Pasig, Melli Villavicencio teaches art therapy to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Villavicencio is known for her colorful, whimsical, almost childish visual style – both whimsical and introspective.
Mamaril and Villavicencio understood that they both operated on the same wavelength, with similar palettes of sensitivities. Thus, a pairing was necessary. For the two-person exhibition at ARTablado, the two see each other as prisms, transmuting light and experiences into colorful views on canvas.
“Colors and emotions are closely linked,” says Kimberly. “I use bold, saturated colors inspired by Pop Art and the way advertisers use color.” But she uses cheerful and optimistic colors with one goal in mind: to grab your attention, to attract you, to surprise you with a message that is not at all cheerful or optimistic. “The messages are bold, though,” Kimberly assures.
Melli agrees that colors affect our moods and thoughts. She also sees the prism as an emblem of her personal transformation. “The light source symbolizes the things we face in our lives. The way light moves inside a prism is how we react. And the “rainbow” that emerges is the result, what we produce. »
Putting on an exhibition during this long and protracted pandemic had been really difficult for both of them.
“I was confined to my studio, staying within the parameters of my place,” Kimberly shares. “I felt stuck and limited for a while, but it taught me to be more resourceful. Despite the difficulties, we were able to persevere.” Melli relied on online stores for painting supplies and on her father to stretch her canvases. “Over time, we were able to adapt to the new normal. The pandemic changed me: it made me think deeply and discover the things that really matter. She used these recent discoveries to make new creations.
Both are grateful that ARTablado gave them the opportunity to share their epiphanies on 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 are just starting to navigate the art scene. They are really helping Filipino artists through, even and especially in the midst of the pandemic. And I think that’s beautiful and inspiring.
Melli reveals how scared and excited she was when ARTablado invited her and Kimberly to put on a show. “It took almost two years and I really thank ARTablado for helping and guiding us through the process. Even when the pandemic hit, I just thought the exhibit wouldn’t show, but the people behind ARTablado stayed in touch with us. There is so much untapped talent that needs guidance to create an exhibition like this.
For Villavicencio and Mamaril, ARTablado extends a platform to budding 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 own stage showcasing Filipino ingenuity and creativity. This platform allows emerging artists to express themselves freely through art and paves the way for greater recognition of their talent and hard work.