These days it feels as if we live in a complex, ever-changing, often chaotic, external world. Technology is advancing at such a fast pace we can hardly keep up; we use it without having to know exactly how it works. Devices which have become ubiquitous fixtures of our day-to-day lives are mysterious black boxes. Add to this the sensory data we are constantly bombarded with while constantly connected, and effectively, we are never alone.
Amid this sensory overload, one way to feel grounded with a semblance of stability is to create order through geometry, symmetry, and repetition. Through the use of simple geometric shapes, symmetrical compositions, and repetitive elements, these paintings provide a quiet space for reflection. Reduced to basic shapes such as squares, rectangles, circles, or lines, the visual elements are arranged in regular patterns. In effect, the reduction is an attempt to expose the underlying monospace code beneath the complexity. Beyond lines and shapes, colors and tonality are likewise limited, confined to narrow ranges conducive to reflection and reflexion.
Repetition of shapes, objects, or lines provide a structure or foundation for the whole. Rectangular shapes echo the the borders of the canvas. Parallel lines are parallel to the edges of the painting. Objects are arranged in an array or matrix. All of these serve to ground the viewers, freeing them to look deeper into the painting if they are so inclined. Although abstract, my work is connected to landscape and the idea of landscape. You can see this in the presence of horizon lines or the parallel lines reminiscent of actual fields (of land). Land implies ground which is both literally and figuratively grounding. Earth, sky, and ocean are not just backdrops but environments to experience which reveal our insignificance. This is what these paintings signify. They are intended to represent interior landscapes, both reflective and reflexive.
Possibly these paintings need some time to be affective since at first glance they may seem overly simplistic. But it is my hope that extended viewing will be rewarding, that the multiple layers and stages of these paintings will ultimately come through as evocative.
– Maria Belina “Pep” S. Manalang, Artist