The Personal is Collective
Solo Exhibition by Sarah Geneblazo
March 6 to March 18, 2021
White Walls Gallery
For every little thing that we do, a corresponding effect happens to those around us. These unconscious deeds create a sort of butterfly effect that ripples a collective outcome for everyone. As a victim of harassment in the past, Angono artist Sarah Geneblazo’s works are a testament of survival and perseverance; coming from a place where the actions of others, though fickle to them, have profoundly affected her view of life. In her most recent Solo Exhibition entitled “The Personal is Collective” she presents a visual narrative in the form of a palpable, artistic experience, using images of greenscapes as a manifestation of her journey towards healing from the past. A total of five paintings, scaled from three to five feet tall, hang in solemn space portraying nature in conjunction with urban fixtures. Sarah’s works have leaned towards the concept of biophilia, an idea that people are genetically connected to nature and plant life. Her art process continues to be a form of therapy ever since she was in college, and in portraying greenery as a subject for her solo show, she shares the feeling of ease that she gets from envisioning nature helping her take back her spirit. She states that by painting scenes that feels real enough to “walk into”, her viewers can breathe and heal as she does.
Aside from the ensemble of paintings lining her wall space, what steals the show in her line-up is the adjacent installation of a white tree fixture holding together 236 pieces of painted Mixed Media leaves, most of which have, over time, fallen onto the floor. The piece mirrors the experience of letting go of things from the past, like leaves falling precariously on the ground. Aptly titled “Traces”, each leaf acts as a reminder that certain things have happened and has done its part in affecting us, but it is our responsibility to let go of them and move on.
Sarah states that a major inspiration for her show is her awareness of the increase in domestic violence and sexual harassment of women in this time of pandemic. Timely as it is International Women’s Month, she empathizes that as a victim of such aggressions before, traumatic experiences can be shared and that there will always be people and channels out there that can help ease out the pain. It was through art that Sarah found the voice to confront the experiences that plague her, and she hopes that by providing visual remedies of peaceful, realistically-rendered greenery she can help other women gain back their footing and find the right spaces and people to help them regain control of their lives. As an artist, she surmises that by continuing to make art that is therapeutic for her, she may in turn give reprieve to others collectively. Hence, sharing her personal growth on canvas ripples into what is collectively an uplifting space for others.
Text by Anya Bongato, gallerist and co-curator of Sarah Geneblazo’s “The Personal is Collective” at White Walls Gallery
About the Artist:
Sarah Geneblazo is an Angono-based artist who graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, majoring in Visual Communication. Her works are often inspired by personal experiences based on childhood trauma and are centered around the process of seeing art as a therapeutic medium that is vital towards healing. She is currently the President of the Neo Angono Artists Collective Inc. where she continues to support other artists in her area. As an experienced professional in the field, she is no stranger to the local art scene as a frequent participant in numerous art shows, like that of Art Fair Philippines and Manila Art Fair, to name a few. Her realistic approach to painting has earned her recognition in competitions, such as the PLDT-DPC National Art Competition in 2010 as a finalist, and in the Department of Agrarian Reform Mural Painting Contest in 2006, the prize of which helped pay her tuition during her first year in college.
You may find more of her works via her personal Instagram: @sarahgeneblazo
The show is currently up for two weeks. For inquiries, viewings and appointments, kindly message White Walls Gallery on Instagram (@whitewallsgallery), Facebook or through the gallery’s website.