Philippine Daily Inquirer / 09:50 PM November 24, 2013
Boston Gallery has opened the exhibition “Script of the Seasons” by Dawani de Leon.
The artist finds flora from seemingly quotidian moments: from random walks in gardens to significant happenings and celebrations where flowers function as centerpiece or given as gifts.
Petals, buds, stems and leaves of different colors and variations are collected, laid out and painted onto the flat pictorial plane of the canvas. Well aware of the evanescence of flowers, Dawani’s act of gathering is as much a symbolic gesture of reminiscence, as it is a commentary on the cycle of life.
Memory stems from concrete moments in space and time and in objects that stimulate recollection. Petals and sepals accumulated by the artist signal remembrances at several instances of encounter: smell, sight, touch, feeling and insight that imbricate at a given moment in time.
Guided by the impulse of both a collector and a botanist, Dawani captures these memories as ephemeral installations and translates them into visual ethnographies. She names her arrangements with scientific names, reinforcing her involvement in the process of finding and discovery.
Here lies the artist’s attempt to defeat the so-called Script of the Seasons. While a script entails a durational structure telling of fixed cycles of life, death, and re-birth, it is through art and experience that enables the beholder of memories to suspend instances, to impart the vitality of what once was, and to intuit a future. Such practice allows the artist to examine her role as a sensitive commentator of nature’s unwieldy patterns expressed fluidly in poetry and painting.
De Leon received her degree in Painting at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, magna cum laude. In 2010, she was the Philippine representative in the Asean Youth Camp, Traditional Arts and Crafts category, under the auspices of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. She was finalist in the 43rd Shell National Students Art Competition in the same year.