Pastel-hued flowers bloom on artist Michelline Syjuco’s paintings. These delicate blooms appear to be carried by swirls and mini tornadoes, a lightness borne out of chaos.
For her first solo exhibit, “Revelation” in 8 Rockwell, Syjuco spent a good part of last year creating 20 paintings using a combination of oil and acrylic paint on marine plywood.
The multimedia artist has been painting since she was 4 years old. Ten years ago, she began sculpting and creating wearable art—finely wrought accessories made of beaten, torched and patinated brass accented with baroque pearls.
Her jewelry pieces consist of cocktail rings, cuffs and neckpieces. Syjuco also makes large scale sculptures, and one of a kind wooden bags, including the well-received, skull-shaped series. She decided to work on marine plywood instead of on canvas after experimenting with both.
“For some reason, my works were coming out better on the plywood. I liked the effect so I decided to go with this. That’s what I had been doing with my bags made of hand-painted wood, so, basically, these paintings are wall versions of my accessories,” she said.
Syjuco dabbed and brushed on every strand, swirl and curlicue separately.
“I used brushes, trapo (rags), whatever was at my disposal.”
Her favorite piece, for personal reasons, is “Revelation XX” (the numbered paintings are all titled “Revelation”).
“It’s my dad’s favorite, he singled it out. It’s very important for me to get good feedback from my parents,” she said.
Dad is Cesare Syjuco, a multimedia artist, painter, poet and art critic.
Syjuco had to turn down invitations to participate in an accessories show in Paris and another in Japan last year so she could focus on finishing the paintings.
“I had nothing new to show, and even if one of the organizers of the Japan show suggested I just include pieces I had exhibited previously in Paris, I couldn’t do it,” she said.
“Although the pieces would have been presented to two different audiences, I would know. If I join a show or exhibit, I want to show something new.”
As soon as the “Revelation” exhibit closes on Jan. 31, Syjuco will need to come up with paintings and sculptures for Art Fair Philippines, which is scheduled for the end of February.
“If I don’t have enough time for a good body of sculptures, I won’t force it. I like to work with a deadline but I don’t want to overstress myself. I like to pace myself. If I can pace myself then I’m happy,” she said.
Revelation by Michelline Syjuco is at Galerie Joaquin, 8 Rockwell. Exhibit runs until Jan. 31.