Awareness for creative sustainability.
BALANCE SERIES by Delphine Saira Gomez
This series is about balance; a celebration of hope and life where there is despair, helplessness and grief. Elements of nature express an idea, emotion ..what we experience and see happening around us, to us, our environment. Nature as a mirror, is a reflection of ourselves– bad or good, fragmented or whole, destructive or nurturing.
I think the use of plastic in my work is very apt and appropriate. A controversial substance that we are so dependent upon for our everyday use; a by-product of petroleum. Petroleum is a major source of environmental destruction and serious gobal issues. We are so reliant upon it that there is alot of abuse and exploitation. It is big business. At the same time I think we are at a turning point where efforts are being made to change the way we live and do things. Plastics for example, is being made into a more environmentally friendly substance called compostable plastics which is biodegradable.
I would like to briefly explain a little about these pieces from my perspective and leave lots of space for the viewer
to experience the work.
1. Emerge 2011 (recycled paper and plastic on canvas)
© Delphine Saira Gomez, Emerge IV, 2011. 147 x 147cm, mixed-media on canvas.
This work highlights the Selangor dam issue. Around 600 ha of primary forest was submerged to counter the states water shortage. “SOS Selangor’s warning about the dangers of building a dam near a suspected seismic fault line is being borne out. Since the massive Sumatran earthquake of Dec 26 which spawned the killer tsunami, the water level in the Selangor Dam has steadily fallen to less than 40 percent.”
I chose the Selangor dam issue for the surreal and tranquil appearance of it conceals the ugly truth. As the world around us is becoming more fragmented, could this be a reflection of society and what we have become – separated from our true selves; our conscience? Within the work fragments of colour and texture merge to signify Unity and Balance; from something broken to being whole again. Hope that we can rediscover our roots, and be grounded with the right values to help us move forward making progress in a responsible way which nourishes, sustains and preserves. Hope that we can emerge anew by accepting our differences yet living as equals. This theme is reflected repeatedly in my work.
2. Sabah Borneo Elephants 12 october 2008 (mixed media on paper)
© Delphine Saira Gomez, Sabah Borneo Elephants, 2008. 28 x 33cm, mixed-media on paper.
The problem lies with us as we continue to encroach upon wildlife habitat. These ecosystems are fragmented causing disruption to the way of life of animals and plants as more forested areas are being cleared for agriculture, plantations and development. For example, the Borneo Elephant lose their migration routes and find themselves in increasing conflict with people working in plantations. Electric fences and traps are set. Life and the survival of species and plant life in the forest are interdependent. The forest is not just their home and refuge but a food and water source to survive and if there is not enough of it left ...
When you first look at this piece you will not think it’s about a baby elephant ensnared. Like a trap, it draws the viewer in closer to get a better look at the details. As you look closer, the dark ugly truth is revealed which is exactly what happens to most of these baby elephants curious about everything and get their feet and noses caught in the wire traps. They are not strong enough to break free from the wire which cuts deeper into the flesh. The wound gets infected. For an elephant to lose the use of its nose is like a person losing both hands. They moan and cry in agony and if are not rescued, starve to death.
3. Red 2008 (mixed media on paper)
© Delphine Saira Gomez, Red, 2009. 46 x 45cm, mixed-media on plastic and paper.
Nature is represented as two opposing forces or energies at play with eachother. Layers of compressed life forms and colour create a 'synergistic whole effect'. Red expresses danger and an urgent call for positive action towards a sustainable way of life.
4. 'Biography' - Precious Little Pieces 2012 (mixed media)
© Delphine Saira Gomez, Precious Little Pieces, My Journey, 2012. 34 x 125.5cm, mixed-media.
For the exhibition titled ‘Precious Little Pieces’, the work is an introduction in miniature to ‘Biography’; an ode to what is precious to us such as loved ones, friendship, our first love, good memories and values which define us. A sense of intimacy may be experienced as if a door or window is being opened into someones private world.
‘Biography’ celebrates hope and life where there is despair, helplessness and grief. From something that is broken and fragmented to being whole and balanced again. Hope that we can rediscover our roots, and be grounded with the right values to help us move forward, making progress in a responsible way which nourishes, sustains and preserves. Hope that we can emerge anew by accepting our differences yet living as equals.
Painted on a collection of old boxes, tin containers, stone, card and paper, each piece has its own story to tell.
5. 'Measuring Love' - Unending Love by Rabindranath Tagore 2013 (mixed media)
© Delphine Saira Gomez, Unending Love by Rabindranath Tagore 2, 2013. 51.5 x 42cm, mixed media on cotton cloth.
The work signifies both pain, joy and the different facets of love connecting fragments of memories past, experiences of the present and visions of the future. As if torn off a page, bits and pieces of colour, texture and text intersperse, overlap and merge to create a formless, intangible effect. Fairly small and intricately woven the pieces are meant to draw the viewer into an intimate space only to discover each fragment on its own is vague, undecipherable and is better appreciated when seen as an interrelated whole. I am making a general impression with separate pieces collaborating to create meaning as no particular element is meaningful alone. The merging and fragmenting of the art work also reflects the natural life-cycle as a continuous process of which love is a part of. In a diverse world such as ours, we are all inextricably linked where love is the unifying force.
6. 'Measuring Love' - Journey Beyond the Clouds 2013 (mixed media)
© Delphine Saira Gomez, Journey Beyond the Clouds 2, 2013. 83 x 60cm, mixed media on cotton paper.
© Delphine Saira Gomez, Journey Beyond the Clouds 3, 2013. 85 x 63cm, mixed media on cotton paper.
‘Journey Beyond the Clouds’ is an introspective work.
All this time the obstacles which held her back were only in her mind. Once she came to this realisation she regained her strength and power that always lay within and now nothing will hold her back. She is free, she is strong, she is ready to face the challenges as she heads in a new direction. The work about love is described in the form of a story, which illustrates a progression and realisation of the meaning of true love over time. It is about a love which heals and transforms from pain to joy; a love which draws us beyond the limitations of our understanding towards freedom; a love which inspires us and transforms us with a shift from an anthropocentric view to a wholistic one where ‘All is one’ as nothing lies in isolation of the whole. I am making a general impression with separate pieces collaborating to create meaning as no particular element is meaningful alone.
7. Emerge 2011 (mixed media on cotton paper)
© Delphine Saira Gomez, Emerge III, 2009. 47 x 50cm, mixed media on cotton paper.
Responding to our current Malaysian crisis and hazy governance of the day. I am linking nature to the notion of human nature; a reflection of the kind of people we choose to be..
8. SEED LIFE
© Delphine Saira Gomez, Seed Life, I'm Coming Home, 2015. Mixed media, one print.
9. Seed Life, A Journey Home 2015 (mixed media)
© Delphine Saira Gomez, SEED LIFE, A Journey Home, 2015. Installation, 15 x 15 ft, mixed-media on board.
(One Installation (15 x 15 ft) consists of 9 panels (5 x 5 ft) and 225 modulars (1x 1ft)).
“Mazes can be disorienting; labyrinths can be centering. You can get lost in a maze: you can lose yourself in a labyrinth”
-A Whole New Mind by DH Pink.
The installation titled Seed Life, A Journey Home is a space for contemplation. The labyrinth symbol was explored to stimulate a process of awakening for harmony and creative sustainability. Working through this study which is essentially about renewing our relationship with the earth, I attempted to examine the present and particular context in which we live. One might connect this with the modern period of mass consumption and the violence of the capitalist system for example. Moving on to an alter-modern era may signify a change in the way we choose to connect and resonate deeply with eachother, nature and the world at large by returning to one’ self first. Similarly if we can see ourselves as working to build the butterfly– a better world– we will also see how important it is to work together, each with qualities and different capabilities. The Seed Life labyrinth explores how we emerge with love and light in a world full of darkness. As we evolve in stages, gradually transforming and blossoming I believe that patience and understanding are needed in this metamorphic transition and cycle for life.
10. Flourish (mixed media)
© Delphine Saira Gomez, FLOURISH, 2018. Poster
“Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream." -Khalil Gibran.
9 May 2018, GE14, Malaysia.
Copyright © Delphine Saira Gomez.