Wednesday, September 16, 2009

EIGHT QUESTIONS ] Lyra Garcellano's people falling gracefully

lyraScenes from the September 9 opening.

Lyra Garcellano presented her latest works recently at the Finale Art Gallery: eight paintings, two drawings, and one installation piece. But everything was about the idea of falling and climbing, and a beautiful, kind of quietly glamorous, surrender. TheSwankStyle spoke to the artist about how she works, what makes her happy and that nasty thing called Old Pain.

What inspired these new works?Finale Art File’s Tall Gallery was inspiring enough. It’s a huge space and I wanted to work with the space. Likewise, I got ideas from dealing with my personal issues.

How long did you work on the exhibit?I did the actual production work for the paintings and drawings for only 4 months. But I worked on the concept for the show for about 8 months.

lyra2Collector Rina Ortiz and the gallery's Evita Sarenas meet halfway.

What's the idea behind the ladder, if you don't mind me asking.
The ladder alludes to the perception of the difficult climb that one faces when one is in an emotional rut. If you look closely at the ladder you’ll see the first four rungs are broken. But the “cast” shadow is done differently. It is complete and “unbroken”. Plus the distance from each rung to the next gets further apart.
I wanted to imply that despite all the difficulties one can eventually “lift” oneself up but every step is going to be a challenge. What is ironic though is once you’ve reached the top, you ask yourself “what’s next?” The bottom again?

Can you give us an idea of how you work?
I work within 2-3 hours after I wake up. I like to putter around the house first before doing “real” work and I call it a day by sundown. I don’t have great lighting in the room where I work so I rely on natural light. It’s awful when it rains because that means I don’t get to work that much since it gets dark in the room. Summer’s a great time to work given the longer days and shorter nights so I get to paint more hours. Nope, I’m not really a “mood” worker. If I relied on my moods, I’ll hardly work. Although, there are days I have intense food cravings. Some days I have the “need” to eat mac & cheese while I work. Other days I “need” my favorite chocolate cream beverage to rev me up. That’s all carbs and sugar. No wonder I’m fat now. I often listen to the same music for months at a time. And the past year the one I love most in my CD rack is Flight of the Conchords’ Season 1 songs.

What did you want to explore with this new batch of paintings?
I was in a funk for a long time. So I needed to process that feeling and that experience brought me to thematically deal with the idea of falling, losing control and eventually getting out of it.

What is your current state of mind?
I’m in a neutral state of mind right now. Which, I suppose, is better than usual. Better than being upset or feeling dis-orbited. Neutral is a good place for me. I take neutral anytime.

How would you describe your studio/workplace?
Very small and very cramped. It’s not really a studio. It’s a room in the house that’s not really being used so I paint there. The thing is everybody’s junk is in that room.

What makes you happy lately? Watching Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited again made me happy recently. Looking forward to an eat-all-you-can pasta buffet makes me happy too.

Photos courtesy of the artist. Old Pain is ongoing up to September 30 at Finale Art File Warehouse 17, La Fuerza Compound (Gate 1), 2241 Pasong Tamo, Makati City (across Philippine School for Interior Design).
Makati City

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