Spells & Specimens

Solo Exhibit / Metro Manila / 2012

Solo Exhibit
fifteen paintings of the moon, crystals, & animal skulls
Curated by JV Castro
July 19 - 30, 2012
Galerie One, LRI Design Plaza
N. Garcia St., Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

Panther - Art by Feanne

Panther

27 x 38 CM
Watercolor, acrylic, and ink on paper
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on bottom middle.

Spells & Specimens continues the themes of magick and beauty, which I explored in my first solo art exhibit. This time, I look at these ideas through the lenses of shadow, solitude, mystery, silence, and death-- as a symbol for change and transcendence. The artworks use imagery from the natural world, but the presentation evokes the supernatural. The works, which I try to present as either relics or dreamscapes, emphasize my admiration for the natural beauty of the Earth's animal and mineral creations. The dreamscapes in particular play with the sense of scale and depth to illuminate the relationship of the microscopic and the cosmic. For this exhibit, I am doing paintings instead of drawings, because I want to capture a semi-realist-- but mostly surrealist-- portrayal of the subjects, and also for the sheer joy of developing my skills in a different medium than my usual ink. The exhibit's title reflects my belief that Science, Art, and Spirituality/Religion are all chords of the same Universal song.

I have always been drawn to esoteric stories and imagery. I believe that an appreciation for this "old world" heritage fosters respect for the planet we live in, and for all generations of people, past, present, and future. Renewed interest in wise traditions-- combined with the advances of modern philosophy, science, and technology-- promises to to help us create an ecologically and spiritually sustainable human civilization. I can only hope to impart some of my dreams and beliefs in my art.

In choosing the dominant symbols and style in my art, I am obviously motivated by a particular aesthetic. Beyond this aesthetic, there are certain ideas in these symbols that resonate deeply with my personal spiritual beliefs.
Sabretooth - Art by Feanne

Sabretooth

27 x 38 CM
Watercolor on paper
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on bottom.

Crystals are the result of millions of years of slow biological and geological processes. These beautiful mineral creations of the Earth are formed by immense heat and pressure acting on rocks. Rocks, of course, come from compressed sediments, which partly come from the organic matter of dead plants and animals. Over time, what was once dust and ashes can be transformed into precious gems that seem to contain an inherent scintillating fire. These objects are like wise traditions-- traditions that come down to us, through the preservation of culture, from humans who lived long ago. These traditions, began, like crude rocks, as experimental practices that were honed and polished over countless generations to crystallize into precious wisdom that can illuminate our modern lives. There are many kinds of wise traditions, but my favourite ones are those pertaining to healthy and sustainable food and farming-- my pet advocacy. In my research I have found that traditional ways of preparing food lead to healthy diets, healthy families, and healthy societies. Like crystals, these wise traditions are the wealth we have inherited from our ancestors, and also something we should preserve for future generations.
Queen - Art by Feanne

Queen

27 x 38 CM
Watercolor on paper
Signed "feanne" and dated "2011" on bottom middle.

Bones are the last parts to disintegrate, after a creature dies and returns to the Earth. To me these represent the essential things-- the ones we keep in our spiritual core. These are the beliefs that give us a solid foundation, upon which we may flesh out our thoughts, words, and deeds. They remind me to always question myself-- what is truly essential? As part of my advocacy for sustainable living, I am working on keeping only the things that I really need in life. While I'm quite far from being a true minimalist, I do aspire to live up to the philosophy of "minimal consumerism"-- that is, to live a life that is filled with love and family and friends and  health, as opposed to a life that is filled only with the latest fashions or the latest gadgets. I don't mean to say that these are mutually exclusive-- but I do have a limited amount of time, energy, and attention, and in giving these out, I feel that I should prioritize the things that truly matter.
Terraces At Night - Art by Feanne

Terraces At Night

18 x 24 IN
Watercolor, acrylic, and ink on paper
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on bottom left.

The Moon has always been a feminine symbol, of dreams, of mystery, of deep and thoughtful silence. Its borrowed light reminds me of my own borrowed light-- so much of what I have is from the efforts and generosity of my family, friends, fellow human beings, and fellow living things here on Earth. The Moon's constant cycle of phases reminds me that life always has seasons-- seasons of fullness, seasons of emptiness, and all of these changes are just a natural part of being alive. Recently, too, I have learned of the value of silence. I have always known the value of using my voice to speak out on issues, to tell the truth. But it's only recently that I learned of the equally important value of silence in particular situations where it is appropriate-- not to withhold the truth, but to have faith in the natural cycles of life. It is only through experiencing many, many cycles, and learning from them, that we can eventually learn how to keep the balance between the helpful voice and the wise silence.
Sea Crystal - Art by Feanne

Sea Crystal

14 x 18 IN
Acrylic on canvas
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on bottom right.
Unicorn Skull - Art by Feanne

Unicorn Skull

18 x 24 IN
Acrylic on canvas
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on bottom right.
Cat Skull - Art by Feanne

Cat Skull

7.75 by 11.75 IN
Acrylic on wood
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on bottom right.
Crystal Mandala - Art by Feanne

Crystal Mandala

7.75 by 11.75 IN
Acrylic on wood
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on middle right.
Specimens I - Art by Feanne

Specimens I

7.75 by 11.75 IN
Acrylic on wood
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on bottom.
Specimens II - Art by Feanne

Specimens II

Acrylic on wood
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on bottom.
New Moon - Art by Feanne

New Moon

7.75 by 11.75 IN
Acrylic on wood
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on bottom.
Crescent Moon - Art by Feanne

Crescent Moon

7.75 by 11.75 IN
Acrylic on wood
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on bottom.
Half Moon - Art by Feanne

Half Moon

7.75 by 11.75 IN
Acrylic on wood
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on bottom.
Gibbous Moon - Art by Feanne

Gibbous Moon

7.75 by 11.75 IN
Acrylic on wood
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on bottom.
Full Moon - Art by Feanne

Full Moon

7.75 by 11.75 IN
Acrylic on wood
Signed "feanne" and dated "2012" on bottom.
Curatorial Essay by JV Castro - Art by Feanne

Curatorial Essay by JV Castro


The Sublime in Spells and Specimens

Feanne's second solo exhibition, Spells and Specimens, explores the mysterious beauty of the night through still lifes and dreamscapes. More than a shift, the show is a continuation of her first solo exhibition that explores the many pleasures of Mother Nature in broad daylight. The artist embraces the supernatural undertones of imagery found in the natural world and takes them as symbols of change and transcendence.

Resulting from millions of years of biological and geological processes, crystals have great significance in Feanne's exhibition. These symbolize wise traditions to the artist, traditions that reflect her advocacies and lifestyle. She equates the aesthetic wealth of crystals to health, something that she keenly keeps an eye on. Giving her exhibition a supernatural element is the imagery of bones. These ivory colored objects comprise the core of her beliefs and the traditions she adhere. Once the flesh disintegrates, a solid foundation of the human body is revealed. Skeletal remains last for generations becoming the only remembrance of something that once breathed life into the planet. These bones become a physical representation of a connection humans have with the magnificence and modesty of the past.

Illuminating the mystery of her second solo exhibition is the moon, a symbol of dreams, femininity, and the night. With deep and silence, it makes its presence felt through the mystifying power it has over the earth. It shines through actions more than words, a strong symbolism for Feanne as an artist and a person. The light of the moon exposes surfaces that show the truth in details. It wanes but it shines again in a cycle that is both anticipated and celebrated.

Spells and Specimens call for reflection and contemplation as Feanne invites her audience to marvel at the beauty of the night and its elements. And as they go through the process, it is expected of them to surrender to the incantation of a poetic nature. Embrace the night, as it never goes away. It fades only to come back again, illuminating minds, hearts, and souls.