I have attempted the onerous task of painting crystal quartz once upon a time, in a 6 x 6 square piece of wood. I thought that the way its different facets hit the light was lovely, so I tried to recreate it myself with paint. It was a disastrous attempt, to say the least. I’d provide photographic evidence, but I can’t find it anymore. Someone in the house must’ve chucked it out to the bin cause they thought it was a coaster. I don’t know.
I’m guessing that’s one of the many, many reasons why Feanne’s 2nd solo exhibit, Spells & Specimens, resonated with me so much. Not only do I share a fascination for depicting crystal quartz on wood (even though I royally fail on it!!!), or the phases of the moon (I used to cut out moons from the office calendars that you get for free and keep them in an envelope), but also because every piece to me felt like a great, archeological artifact.
There are very few things in life that I’d love to do more than spending an entire afternoon inside a museum of national history, specifically the one in Jardin de Plantes, peering through glass panels and vials, staring at skulls and bones and fossil remains, scrutinizing tiny, floating specks of black that float within the liquid-filled specimen jars.
Feanne’s work is kind of hypnotic. You get lost, momentarily, within the spaces and the blurs of paint where whites suddenly fade to an inky black, then to be cut white again by facets or the end of a crater. You marvel at the the subtle changes in light and shades against the deep black; a black which could only suggest the vast coldness of infinite space. Her works allow you to examine things yet feel differently towards them, as if you’ve never seen a cat, or a twig or a full moon before. Butterflies that look like they’re about to take flight, but had to be frozen in time. And bones, the remains of the creatures that we only know in dreams.
Meet Feanne Mauricio! The artist behind Spells & Specimens! We’ve only really met once prior to this exhibit, but we’ve expressed a ~mutual admiration~ of sorts online. Feanne is one of those rare people I’ve had the pleasure of being friends with, who are so incredibly gifted yet still remains so humble and lovely and generous of her time, knowledge and talent. Valerie Chua, I’m also looking at you haha! It’s also worth noting that her eyeliner looks so reminiscent of the strokes you see in her art. A stylized swish!
Feanne’s aunt, and noble public figure Risa Hontiveros sang a really sweet and lovely rendition of Moon River. So apt thereisamooninthebackground a song choice.
I wasn’t able to catch his name, but he was quite the performer! They also did an impromptu sexy song about the moon, which was SO catchy, you wouldn’t think it was written on the spot.
Spoken word poetry, which I really really appreciated! Sarah Kay gives me goosies, but it’s my first time hearing spoken word here in Manila! It would be interesting to hear one in Filipino
Feanne and JM performing for us as The Slinks! That one time I met Feanne, it was a gig at Ponti where we both performed. Feanne was carrying a jug of salabat around, apologizing for her sore throat, but her singing was really (as usual) goosebumps inducing.
Lastly, I really HAD to convince my friends, whom I brought along with me to the exhibit, to stay until we catch my favorite local artist, Bullet Dumas! Can I just say I’m so proud that we are chums. HAHA really, his music makes me claw my brains out and dig my nails to my own skin cause it’s breathtakingly mind-blowingly IN-credible. Moves you to tears incredible. That is all.
I also had the chance to perform an impromptu number for the show before leaving the exhibit! I played Gravity Rides Everything, which I felt was also applicable to the exhibit’s theme! Proud that I came up with that idea at the last moment, lols!
All in all, a really wonderful night!! The coldness that Feanne’s art exuded complemented the very warm, bright atmosphere and cheery company so well! Perfect songs, perfect performers, infectious music, organic beer from Negros which I didn’t drink cause I don’t drink beer but still, it’s organic!, and great friends that tagged along all makes for a memorable evening. Congratulations to Feanne for her successful opening! I’m looking forward to the next one, already