Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wait 'till ya see what's comin'

Kristina & Darryl begin assembling the wood scraps for their spray painting piece - - - women of Filipino folklore, taking revenge for the abuses they've gone through......

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Where Have I Been?

This is the part where I'm going to try to updated SOME THINGs that have happened so far for CLUTCH. Thanks to April, our coordinator (our agent), our schedule has been overbooked with wonderful workshops, guest speakers and projects to finish up.


[Mithi Esguerra]
We had discussions of how we view ourselves in the community and went on to discussing about the “Socialization of Filipino Women” and the role they played in ‘his’tory; From the Spanish and American colonization, through the struggles of the revolutions, and to the different occupations that the Filipina has to take in order to survive. Looking back at it, we seemed more “Badass” until we got degraded by societal views of the Americanized mind.

[Alex Felipe] Photography
We went through the basics of photography; from the use of space, angle, rule of 3rds, simplicity and balance...etc. After the lecture we got to play around with Photoshop and the necessary tools in editing digital photographs.

[Jeff Garcia] Silk Screening intro
We only had time to do a lecture and will be doing the actual workshop later in January.

[Bernice Gei-Ying Hune]
We had to rush to the next workshop after Jeff’s, and into the Chinese Canadian National Council office to listen to Bernice’s Stories. “Bernice works with facts and memories to create narratives. She shares her process to encourage others to participate in artistic endeavours.”

And with that bit of encouragement we took the chance of promoting our program “CLUTCH” in what we do, where we are based, and how to get there. We told them that we are going to have a gallery setup for people to come and see. I just really wished I had more of the little KPC bookmarks to handout... I only had five at that moment. (until I realized I had more in the other bag pockets). Oh well! Hope that Bernice’s message was heard to support artistic endeavours.

[Spray Painting ideas]
We headed back to KPC right after CCNC to brainstorm what we still needed to get done in time for the gallery. At this point we also started to think of what to name our precious.

Desiree, Kristina and April went on a scavenger hunt for wood scraps in an architecture dumpster. I'm pretty sire they had a blast because they brought a van full of wood pieces.
(Here's a rough assembly of the pieces)

......[ Documentation Vidz - Thinking of the Perfect Exhibit Name ]......
Enjoy the vids ^_^

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

CLUTCH Drawing Circle Jam

Ever been to a jam session? Music lovers getting together, picking up an instrument (or noise-making object) and playing, zoning out, mixing beats and vocals and uncanny sounds and ideas.

Silkscreen artist Jeff Garcia's version of a jam session? A Drawing Circle. Last Thursday, he threw us our very first CLUTCH drawing circle at his humble abode/studio. How it works is simple: we sit around a table, armed with anything from old books and scissors, to funky pens and markers, and we collage/cut/paste/draw/doodle whatever the eff we want or feel at that moment in time. Then we pass it on to the next person, who builds on what we just did until we've reached a wild, jam-making, total eclipse of the soul explosive creation (to us at least).

Joined by the wonderful illustrator and CLUTCH alumnus Krystel Pasignasigna, and another long-time friend of Jeff's, we spent a whopping six hours creating works and swapping. Janeane Garofalo, Bruce Lee and a dash of wine also helped make the night a little more interesting. Here are some photos from the night:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Filipino Poetry Workshop = Chills

Two hours was not enough.

I’m sure anyone who has met spoken word artist Len Cervantes will agree. Coordinator of Kapisanan’s ever-growing workshop series Poetry is Our Second Language and eight-year veteran of spoken word, Len introduced the CLUTCH girls to tanagas, balagtasans and the history of poetic expression in the Philippines this past Saturday.

Sitting beside us was a young lady by the name of Naya Valdellon, whom Len had brought along as a “special guest.” She seemed unassuming, exhibiting no pretensions but instead a gentle eagerness to be there, so I figured she was with us to learn about poetry, perhaps attempt to write a couple on the spot. As soon as she began reading out the first few lines of her poetry, we knew we were in the presence of greatness. Turns out not only does she have several poems published in magazines and books (such as "One Hundred Love Poems: Philippine Love Poems Since 1905," seen above), she has also received the Palanca Award two years in a row — a prestigious national literary award, basically the Pulitzer Prize of the Philippines.

Her words gave us chills and poem after poem, Kristina and I sat dreamy-eyed, chins resting on our fists like little children, enthralled with Naya’s natural ability to story-tell through poetry. “All kids started out as artists,” she said. “What we need to do as artists now is see that same world with wonder.” Having lived in the Philippines all her life, the former editor and content writer for a website design company decided to “go on an adventure” and head to Toronto in 2006 for the English and Creative Writing masters program at U of T. She fell in love with the city and has been here since, even amalgamating poems about her previous life in Manila with newfound Toronto stories about the mix of people and urban landscape. She also admits to learning about her own Filipino identity just as much as we were: “Growing up in the Philippines, I never questioned my identity … Writing about being Filipino in the Philippines was considered corny,” she told us.

We told her our own stories and how we could relate to her, despite our differences in backgrounds and where we all grew up. We saw ourselves through her and it was comforting. Len agreed: we need to see more of these strong female writers and chill-inducing spoken word artists in the community... and beyond. We didn’t have enough time to pummel her with more questions we had about her life in the Philippines, her writing processes and learning experiences but Len did have time to give us homework: to come up with our own “tanaga” — a sort of Filipino haiku, but with seven syllables and four verses, same rhyme at the end of each line — to be posted on the CLUTCH blog in the next couple weeks.

“You always have to be ready for inspiration,” Len said to us. My pen will be ready.


Other quick updates:
-Met with silkscreen artist Jeff Garcia last week at his studio for a brainstorming blitz for our project (and potential installation piece) and demo sesh to get an idea of the process. Uber cool guy with raging ideas, raging energy and raging hair.

-Went on a wild goose chase, running up and down each floor of an architecture school, finding scrap wood materials for our spray-painting piece. Found sweet pieces, despite cut-eye from students. Garbage turned art... adds a new dimension to the final piece.

-More hours spent coming up with a title for the February 20 exhibit. You could tell when the delirium kicks in as you read through the long list of ideas, top to bottom. We want it to punch your soul...